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News Link • Criminal Justice System

Cherokee Forest squatter was building cabin, planting garden

•, Tonja Burk

Unfortunately, the land he chose was in the middle of the Cherokee National Forest, and now, that man faces time in federal prison.

According to court documents, Terry L. Sharkey was caught living on national forest land for the second time in April, just weeks after he'd been sentenced to time served on charges that included camping for more than two weeks in the area without authorization.

A helicopter surveying a forest fire first spotted Sharkey's new homestead, which included a tent, a Rebel flag, and a bath tub made of rock.

In the following weeks, rangers hiked out to the area and saw that Sharkey, who was recognized from his previous case, was cutting trees and building a three-room log cabin. They also saw he had planted a garden and created a bath tub by placing rocks around a spring.

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