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Arkansas man booked on felony timber theft charge
December 8, 2010
Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M., said state forestry enforcement officers arrested an Arkansas man Wednesday on a felony timber theft charge.
Harry Massey, 67, 118 Seven Brothers Road, Norphlet, Ark., was arrested by Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF) investigators at the Bienville Parish Sheriff’s Office and charged with one count of failure to remit payment for timber.
Strain said an absentee landowner from Los Angeles, Cal., hired Massey to cut 40 acres of timberland in Bienville Parish in May through June 2009.
Massey cut the 40 acres and sold it through a Camden, Ark. wood dealer but allegedly did not pay the Los Angeles landowner for the timber.
Evidence collected by Forestry Enforcement Officer Jason Watts showed the timber was valued at $29,694.
Massey, who is currently awaiting trial on a similar case in Union Parish, was booked into the Bienville Parish Jail. Bail was set at $10,000.
“Absentee owners are vulnerable and should take steps to make sure someone regularly checks their timber holdings,” Strain said. “The LDAF maintains lists of reputable timber buyers and loggers for each area of the state. Landowners can contact our office with any questions.”
Strain said all forestry and farm related crimes issues should be reported to the LDAF by calling 225-925-4500 or 800-558-9741. The toll free number can also be used to report livestock or farm equipment theft.
“Timber theft is a serious crime and will be investigated fully by my office,” Strain said.