Baton Rouge, LA (April 22, 2014) - Two Calcasieu Parish men are accused of timber thefts in Allen Parish. Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF) enforcement agents say an Allen Parish landowner notified them April 9 of a timber theft that occurred on her property.
Investigators say the landowner said she contracted with Christian Gorham to perform demolition work on an old house located on her land. The landowner said Gorham asked multiple times if he could cut or remove trees from the property in which the request was denied. Upon inspecting the property, the landowner says she discovered three large red cedar trees and a large pine tree had been cut and removed from the property. A large black walnut tree had been cut but not removed.
Investigators say the landowner notified LDAF Enforcement Agents that someone was at her property attempting to cut more trees. LDAF agents and Allen Parish sheriff’s deputies responded and located Christian Gorham and John Myers (both of Calcasieu Parish) attempting to load cut limbs of a black walnut tree into a trailer.
LDAF Commissioner of Agriculture and Forestry, Mike Strain, D.V.M. said, “At the time, investigators say they were given false information by the suspects regarding their identities. Upon confirmation of the individuals involved, arrest warrants were issued.”
On April 15, John Myers was arrested by Calcasieu sheriff’s deputies on warrants and charged with theft of timber, obstruction of justice, simple criminal damage to property and attempted timber theft.
According to investigators, Myers admitted he did not have permission to cut and or remove any trees and that he is not a licensed arborist in the State of Louisiana. Myers also admitted to giving false information and delaying the investigation by LDAF enforcement agents. He has been released on $6,500 bond.
Gorham was arrested April 21. Charges are pending.
A conservative estimated value of the stolen timber is $10,000.
Photos of subjects are attached and provided courtesy of the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office.