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Arkansas man arrested on felony timber theft charges

December 15, 2009

Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M., said Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry investigators recently arrested an Arkansas man on felony timber theft charges.
Ernest Biddle, 56, of 908 Bourbon Street, Lewisville, Ark., was arrested Dec. 10, 2009, by LDAF forestry investigators at the Bossier Parish Medium Security Jail in Benton.
Forestry Enforcement Manager Jim Baldwin said the charges resulted from a complaint filed in early 2009. The complaint alleges that while Biddle was cutting timber for a Bossier Parish landowner, he also cut three acres of timber from an adjoining piece of property.
“After the landowner, a logger himself, discovered Mr. Biddle had pushed a logging road across his property without permission, both the landowner and his brother showed Mr. Biddle the property lines and instructed him not to cut any of their property,” Baldwin said. “Several days later the landowner returned to his property and discovered about three acres of his timber had been cut.
Biddle cut about three loads of hardwood pulpwood and one load of hardwood ties valued at $3,000.
Biddle was also arrested earlier this year by forestry investigators on timber theft charges for failing to pay a Bossier Parish landowner for $4,000 worth of timber he was legally logging.
“LDAF investigators take agriculture and forestry related crimes very seriously and they will seek justice when individuals break the law,” Strain said. “But I advise everyone who believes they may be victim of timber theft to immediately report a suspected crime. The sooner investigators can get started investigating the better.”

Strain urged anyone suspecting they may have been a victim of timber theft to call the Baton Rouge headquarters at 225-925-4500.