Search Our Site...


Texas Notary Accused in Timber Theft

June 4, 2015

Baton Rouge, La. (June 4, 2015) – A notary from Texas faces one count of felony timber theft following an investigation by the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF).

On Thursday, June 4, LDAF agents arrested Centennial Rose Stewart of Bivins, Tx., and booked her into the Caddo Parish Detention Center. Stewart is accused of notarizing 15 timber cutting agreements which ultimately resulted in  the unlawful sale of 80 acres of timber located in Rodessa, a community in north Caddo Parish.

Agents said Stewart, who is a notary in Cass County, notarized 15 timber cutting agreements for James Nelson of Vivian, La., giving him permission to sell timber on property in Rodessa of which he is reportedly an heir. However, investigators say Nelson falsely signed the names of other heirs to the property who had been deceased for up to 40 years.

Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M., said, “While conducting this investigation, our agents recovered timber cutting agreements that were all notarized in Texas, but several of the timber cutting agreements were allegedly signed by individuals who were deceased. These timber cutting agreements were then presented to a logger as legal documents.”

Records showed Nelson was paid $35,000 for the timber. During an interview, Nelson admitted forging the signatures of deceased heirs on the timber cutting agreements. Stewart’s bond was set at $20,000.