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Caddo Parish Man Accused of Timber Theft

June 1, 2015

Baton Rouge, La. (June 1, 2015) – A Vivian man faces one count of felony timber theft following an investigation by the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF).

On Thursday, May 28, LDAF agents arrested James Lee Nelson of 320 East Tennessee Road, Vivian and booked him into the Caddo Parish Detention Center. Nelson is accused of unlawfully selling 80 acres of property located in Rodessa, a community in north Caddo Parish.

Agents said Nelson falsified 15 timber cutting agreements signing the names of several heirs, some of whom were deceased for up to 40 years.

Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M., said, “While conducting this investigation, our agents recovered 15 timber cutting agreements that were all notarized in Texas indicating Nelson had permission to sell the timber. Six of the timber cutting agreements were allegedly signed by individuals who were deceased for many years.  An additional timber cutting agreement which reportedly showed power of attorney for three more deceased individuals was also recovered.”

Records showed Nelson was paid $35,000 for the timber. During an interview, Nelson admitted forging the signatures of deceased heirs on the timber cutting agreements. Nelson’s bond was set at $20,000.

This investigation is continuing and additional arrests and charges are pending.