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Leesville man sentenced for timber arson

August 31, 2010

Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M., said a 66-year-old Leesville man convicted of simple arson was sentenced to six years of hard labor Aug. 13.
Darrell W. Westmoreland, 3755 Camp Baker Road, was ordered by Judge Vernon B. Clark of the 30th Judicial District Court to serve six years in a Department of Corrections (DOC) prison as a result of his Feb. 11 conviction for simple arson.
Assistant District Attorney Ronald Seastruck prosecuted the case.
Westmoreland was convicted of arson for setting three 2008 forest fires in the Camp Baker area in Vernon Parish. The fires destroyed 179 acres of timberland valued at more than $80,000,
Clark suspended the DOC sentence provided Westmoreland spends one year in Vernon Parish Prison, pays restitution of $20,825, a $1,000 fine and court costs.
Westmoreland was also placed under three years supervised probation.
Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry enforcement officers conducted the arson investigation that led to Westmoreland’s arrest. The Vernon Parish Sheriff’s Office assisted in the investigation and arrest.
“Timber arson is a very serious crime that could result in the loss of life as well as property,” Strain said. “The LDAF will thoroughly investigate all complaints of timber arson, theft, and criminal activity relating to agriculture.”
“If you suspect you have been a victim of a forestry or agricultural crime or have information about an agricultural crime, I urge you to call the LDAF Crimestoppers hotline at 1-800-558-9741 of the forestry office at 225-925-4500.”