A friend of Montana mountain manErnie Tertelgte is in hot water after threatening a local judge. William Wolf, along with an unorganized militia, threatened to citizens' arrest Justice of the Peace Rick West, who put Tertelgte behind bars for contempt of court after an outburst inside a Montana courtroom that caught national attention.
I previously reported that Tertelgte was representing himself on a fishing without a license charge in front of West. His friend, Wolf, told local MTN News that the judge has an ax to grind with Tertelgte: "The animosity between Justice West and Ernie seems to be extreme," Wolf said.
He explained that the act represented something bigger than just a disagreement. "This is not about arresting a judge per Se, this is about holding him and every law agency to the same standards that they hold you and I to. This isn't about vengeance; this is about justice."
Wolf's words caught the attention of the Gallatin County Sheriff's Department. "When you start talking about arresting people and kidnapping people, and that's unacceptable and nothing good comes from that," explained Sheriff Brian Gootkin, who said that threats like this affect West, but also his family.
The Sheriff says his office will investigate Wolf's complaint against West.
"I told him I'm confident that there was no criminal activity by the judge," Gootkin said.
Wolf said that if the investigation finds no criminal activity, he will drop the issue.
"If something does not go forward in a positive manner, or if they determine there is no probable cause, then the matter's over," Wolf said." We've done our duty as best we could do, and we've relied on the government to do their duty. And we will be disappointed but we're not vigilantes," he said.