Search Our Site...


Calcasieu Parish woman arrested for Simple Arson

October 17, 2022

For Immediate Release:              
October 17, 2022

Jennifer Finley, Press Secretary – 225-922-1256
Megan Moore, Public Information Director – 225-935-2179

Calcasieu Parish woman arrested for Simple Arson

BATON ROUGE – On October 11, agents with the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry’s (LDAF) Office of Forestry arrested 39-year-old Tabitha Verdine for setting several fires on Jim Drake Rd. in Starks, La.

LDAF Forestry Enforcement Investigators found that Verdine set fire to the roadside, which spread into the woods and resulted in a seven-acre wildfire causing damages to private property. It was eventually contained by the LDAF Fire Eradication Units and the Ward 5 Starks Fire Department.

Investigators developed sufficient evidence and probable cause, and an arrest warrant was obtained for Verdine for Simple Arson. Investigators located Verdine at the Calcasieu Parish Detention Center, where she was being held on unrelated charges from the day prior. Verdine was booked, and the bond was set at $100,000.

“Arson is a very serious crime. Unintentionally starting a fire or worse, deliberately setting a fire, during a drought like much of South Louisiana is experiencing could have wide and catastrophic repercussions,” said LDAF Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M. “LDAF enforcement agents take agriculture and forestry-related crimes seriously, and they will seek justice when individuals break the law.”

Note: All persons accused of any crime are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

The public is urged to report any and all forestry-related crimes to the LDAF Office of Forestry at 225-925-4500 or the LDAF 24-hr hotline at 1-855-452-5323.