Deepwater drilling protester convicted of trespassing, resisting arrest


TAOS, N.M. (KRQE) – A man who protested a local water project by refusing to come down from a drilling rig, has been convicted of trespassing and resisting arrest. Buck Johnston, 33, spent four days at the top of the rig near Taos, east of the Rio Grande Gorge in March of 2019.

The incident attracted a following of supporters at a camp below the rig. Johnston was protesting deepwater drilling as part of the 2008 Abeyta Water Agreement, which local groups say could degrade local aquifers. He eventually came down voluntarily and was arrested.

This week, a jury found Johnston guilty of the two misdemeanor charges. Sentencing is set for later this month.

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