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LDAF Forestry Officers Arrest Texas Man
March 19, 2009
A Texas man was arrested March 19 with timber theft by Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry investigators, Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M., said.
Joe L. Irving, 53, P.O. Box 160, DeBerry, Texas was booked into the Caddo Parish Detention Center in Shreveport.
The arrest was the result of a complaint filed by Caddo Parish landowner Emily Jones. In 2006, Jones contracted with Irving to cut timber on 240 acres of property she owned in south Caddo Parish.
LDAF Forestry Enforcement Manager Jim Baldwin said Irving logged and sold the timber but allegedly failed to pay Jones for 30 loads valued at $23,469.
Baldwin said Irving cut and delivered 73 loads of timber to mills in East Texas but only paid Jones for 43.
Police reports indicate Irving was previously arrested for larceny and theft in Texas. He served 10 months in federal prison for interstate transportation of stolen property.
“The Department of Agriculture and Forestry takes theft very seriously and works diligently to see to it that justice is served,” Strain said. “But I advise everyone who believes they may be victim of timber theft to immediately report a suspected crime. The sooner the department’s investigators get started investigating the better.”
Strain urged anyone suspecting they may have been a victim of timber theft to call the Baton Rouge headquarters at 225-925-4500.