A homeless man convicted of trashing a Colorado national forest with more than four tons of garbage was sentenced earlier this week to prison.
Benjamin Yoho, 41, was given a six-month sentence behind bars after a judge found him guilty of littering a large area of Uncompahgre National Forest north of Telluride, Fox 31 Denver reports.
“This was no ordinary case of littering in the National Forest — this was full-scale trashing of the public lands and merited a term of incarceration,” Colorado U.S. Attorney John Walsh said.
Prosecutors told the judge Yoho built an illegal home and dumped 8,500 pounds of garbage in the forest from October, 2014, to April.
The litter included recycled items from the Telluride “Free Box,” the station reported.
In May 48 volunteers and crews from the Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control removed the debris from the forest by helicopter, according to Fox 31.
The sentence includes one year of probation after Yoho gets out of prison.
San Miguel County Sheriff Bill Masters said the sentence should serve as a warning to all that trashing the forest is unacceptable behavior.
“Unfortunately, the defendant in this case took advantage of the charitable nature of the Telluride community and made a mockery of it,” he said.