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Arrests Made in Vandalism at Logging Company

July 20, 2015

Baton Rouge, La. (July 20, 2015) – A joint investigation by the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF) and the Ouachita Parish Sheriff’s Office has resulted in the arrests of three people Monday in connection with the extensive vandalism of logging equipment that took place off Prairie Road in south Ouachita Parish last week.


Joshua Jurca, 22, and Rhonda Barnes, 21, both of 2951 Prairie Road in Monroe, La. and a 13-year old juvenile were all charged with  felony Criminal Damage to Property over $50,000.


The arrests are the result of a complaint filed by a logging contractor who was logging a 600-acre tract of property near 3000 Prairie Road in south Ouachita Parish.


According to investigators, on July 11 and 12 these individuals entered the logging site and cut hydraulic hoses on a John Deere loader, broke the windshield and gauges on a log truck and poured dirt in the fuel tank and engine block. Engine and hydraulic oil were poured all over the ground and on a bulldozer from portable storage tanks. In addition, tools from the work truck were scattered all over the ground.


The wires on a John Deere loader/processor were shorted out and the wires to the trailer scale system were cut. In addition to all the damage, an Ingersoll Rand pneumatic grinder and a curved Turkish blade machete were also stolen.


“Our agents along with Ouachita Parish sheriff’s detectives and deputies blanketed the area talking to residents, leaving business cards and putting up reward posters all last week. This work generated leads that resulted in the arrests of these individuals,” Mike Strain, LDAF Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner.


The Louisiana Forestry Association and Ouachita Parish Crime Stoppers offered a$3,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible.


Jurca and Barnes were booked into the Ouachita Parish Detention Center and the juvenile was booked into Green Oaks Detention Center in Monroe.