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LaSalle Parish Man Attempts to Evade Authorities – Another Timber Theft Charge Filed

May 26, 2015

A LaSalle Parish man was nabbed in  Anchorage, Alaska while attempting to cross the border into Canada and now faces additional timber theft charges here in Louisiana.  James Marcus Ainsworth, 39, of 254 Joiner Road, already faced eight felony timber theft counts.  Friday, May 22 Ainsworth was charged with one more timber theft count in LaSalle Parish.

 

In the most recent incident, Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry investigators said Ainsworth cut 24 acres of timber in May and June 2014 for a landowner in Nebo, in La Salle Parish. After the timber was cut, forestry agents said the landowner did not hear from Ainsworth and went to his home and confronted him about payment.

 

“During this meeting Ainsworth showed the landowner scale tickets and checks totaling $30,000 telling the landowner this was the amount of timber that had been cut off the property. Ainsworth also told the landowner he should receive $12,000 for his portion. Ainsworth was never able to provide the landowner with scale tickets specific to the landowner’s property,” said LDAF Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M.

 

Forestry investigators went to mills and wood dealers and recovered records showing Ainsworth cut 45 loads of timber valued at $41,234.13 but the landowner only received $3,400.

 

Investigators reported in early April, Ainsworth, his wife and daughter drove to the Chicago area, put all of their belongings in storage and then flew to Anchorage, Alaska with the intent to cross the border into Canada and avoid prosecution. Ainsworth’s information was put in the National Crime Information Center, NCIC, and Ainsworth was arrested in Anchorage. Deputies from the LaSalle Parish Sheriff’s Office drove to Anchorage and brought Ainsworth back to Jena.

 

Ainsworth is currently in the LaSalle Parish Detention Center on $1 million bond. In all, Ainsworth has seven timber theft charges in LaSalle Parish and two in Catahoula Parish.

 

Prior to the most recent arrest, Ainsworth is accused of stealing approximately $100,000 worth of timber from landowners.

 

Anyone who may have done business with Ainsworth is asked to contact the LDAF office at (225) 925-4500.

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