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 Rapides Parish Man Arrested for Timber Theft  

March 6, 2020

 Rapides Parish Man Arrested for Timber Theft  


Baton Rouge, La., (March 6, 2020) – A Rapides Parish man is accused of theft of timber valued at $178,270.51.


Melvin Darren Edwards was arrested March 5, 2020 by Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry enforcement agents.


In 2019, LDAF enforcement agents received a complaint from the owners of two tracts of timberland totaling 180 acres located in Rapides Parish. The landowners reported that in 2018, Melvin “D.D.” Edwards was hired to log these two tracts of land.  Investigators said the landowners suspected they were not paid for all the timber hauled off the property as a result of some notable inconsistencies with timber payments.


Following an investigation, the LDAF enforcement division determined Edwards concealed the proceeds from the sale of the timber from the owners.


“Timber is a valuable, long-term investment. It is important to pay attention to what is being hauled off your property so you can be properly compensated. Of course, we are here to help if you believe you are being taken advantage of,” said LDAF Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M.


Edwards was booked into the Rapides Parish Jail on one count of theft of timber greater than 25,000.   Bond was set at $25,000. Edwards has reportedly bonded out.


If convicted, Edwards could receive a fine up to $10,000 and/or jail time up to 10 years.


To report suspected timber theft, contact the LDAF Office of Forestry at 225-925-4500 to file a complaint.