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LDAF investigations yield arrests

August 8, 2008

Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M. said Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry enforcement officers and Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office deputies arrested a Mississippi man suspected of timber theft in late July.
Anthony Charles Dillon, 38, 811 Minnesota Avenue, McComb, Mississippi, was arrested by LDAF Forestry Enforcement investigators Mark Singleton and Roy St. Pierre Jr. on July 31 for allegedly stealing timber valued at $4,674.
Dillon, hired to thin a 30-acre stand of trees near Kentwood off Hwy. 38, allegedly sold six loads of the thinned timber product under his name instead of the rightful owner’s.
Singleton and St. Pierre arrested Dillon with the assistance of Investigator Lee Barkdull of the Mississippi Agriculture Theft Bureau and Detective Roy Stevens of the Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office.
Also, a joint LDAF Livestock Brand Commission and Iberville Parish Sheriff’s Office investigation resulted in the July 25 arrest of a 19-year-old and a juvenile for unauthorized use of a motor vehicle and criminal damage to property.
Darnell Hawkins of Maringouin and the juvenile, also of Maringouin, allegedly used two tractors to shorten their journey through a cane field to travel from Maringouin to Rosedale.
The tractors sustained damage to their spray equipment during the unauthorized use.
An arrest of a second juvenile is expected, investigators said.
LDAF Brand Commission officer Johnny Steib and Iberville Parish Sheriff’s Office Captain Mike Sparks conducted the investigation and made the arrests.
Strain said the LDAF investigates all criminal activity pertaining to the forestry and agricultural industries.
“Foresters and farmers have large investments in their land and equipment,” Strain said. “Theft and damage to woodlands and farm equipment is a serious matter.”