Jordy Robertson

Jordy Robertson

A pastor’s praise wasn't enough to keep Jordy Robertson, the father of Saints superfan Jarrius “J.J.” Robertson, from having to remain locked up while awaiting trial on cocaine distribution and other charges.

At a detention hearing Monday, U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael North said the elder Robertson will stay in custody ahead of trial on charges of conspiracy to distribute cocaine, wire fraud and threatening a witness.

Jordy Robertson wept after hearing the judge’s decision, which came despite testimony from his fiancée and his pastor that he was no danger to the public.

North said their kind words were not enough to overcome the presumption under federal law that someone facing charges as serious as Robertson should be incarcerated.

Robertson, 35, has been in custody at the St. Charles Parish Jail since his arrest last week. He is accused of raiding a pile of cash he raised to help treat his son’s rare liver condition.

People from around the country donated tens of thousands of dollars to help Jarrius Robertson, who’s known for his diehard support for the Saints and LSU football.

Jarrius Robertson and his custodial parent, Patricia Henry, have not been accused of any wrongdoing.

Drug Enforcement Administration investigators said Jordy Robertson never registered his It Takes Lives to Save Lives organization as a tax-exempt nonprofit with the Internal Revenue Service. They accuse him of blowing much of the donated cash at local casinos.

Robertson has lost more than $150,000 at the Treasure Chest Casino in Kenner alone, the feds say.

Robertson is also accused of selling cocaine and heroin and threatening a confidential informant who lived near him in Reserve.

Yet at the hearing in North’s courtroom, defense attorney Michael Bell sought to portray his client as a dedicated Christian and family man.

The Rev. Forell Bering Sr., the pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Reserve, said Robertson has attended the church for 10 years with his fiancée and Jarrius.

Bering wore a black suit and bow tie as he spoke in a resonant voice about Robertson.

“Even when things didn’t go right, Jordy has a calm, compassionate spirit about him,” Bering said. “He’s mild-mannered, actually.”

Robertson’s fiancée, Ashley Dewey, said the couple has been together for 15 years after meeting in elementary school. She said she’s never known him to keep drugs or guns around the house, or put the family in danger.

The couple lives in a single-wide mobile home, which Bell said is not a typical residence for a drug dealer.

Dewey's testimony earned a skeptical response from Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicholas Moses, who pointed out that Robertson was hit with drug charges in 2006 and 2008. 

Moses also asked Dewey to identify an emoji from the Facebook post in which Robertson is accused of threatening a government informant.

Dewey claimed she couldn’t recognize it until backtracking under questioning from Moses.

“I’m assuming it’s maybe like a gun,” she said. “People are constantly hacked, every day.”

A federal probation agent had also recommended that Robertson stay in jail, pointing out that he has history of skipping out on court dates in the past.

Follow Matt Sledge on Twitter, @mgsledge.

msledge@theadvocate.com | (504) 636-7432