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Oakdale Man Arrested for Arson

March 23, 2016

Thirty-seven year old Joseph Stafford, of Oakdale, is charged with simple arson and criminal trespass following  a joint investigation between the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF), Allen Parish Sheriff’s Office and the Louisiana State Fire Marshal’s Office. Stafford was arrested March 8, 2016.


On February 13, 2016, investigators say a 45 acre wildfire began in Allen Parish near Joe Strother Road on Forest Management Company Lands just outside of Oakdale and spread into Rapides Parish.

Witnesses identified Stafford as setting the blaze and leaving the scene as LDAF fire crews arrived to put out the fire.

LDAF investigators charged Stafford with one count of simple arson and one count of criminal trespassing. Stafford was already incarcerated in the Allen Parish Jail on unrelated charges at the time of his arrest.

“As a result of the recent flooding of the area, damage estimates have been delayed. It is believed that several thousand dollars of damage was done,” said LDAF Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M.

According to state law, whoever commits the crime of simple arson, where the damage done amounts to $500 or more, shall be fined not more than $15,000 and imprisoned at hard labor for not less than two years nor more than 15 years.

For first offense criminal trespass, the fine shall be not less than $100 and not more than $500, or imprisonment for not more than 30 days, or both.