VERNON PARISH, La. (KLFY) — The Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry’s Enforcement (LDAF) arrested James Travis Johnson, 48, for one count of timber theft less than $25,000 and three counts of making false statements regarding rightful ownership of forest products on Aug. 9.
Johnson was booked into Vernon Parish Detention Center for these charges. Johnson posted bond for $15,000 on Aug. 11 in Vernon Parish, but was arrested again in Rapides Parish for additional timber charges later that day.
Prior to his arrest, LDAF agents received a complaint from the owner of 20 acres of timberland claiming that Johnson, who was hired to log the tract of land, did not pay the owner for all of the harvested timber. LDAF enforcement agents say Johnson failed to pay for loads of timber valued at $1,860.74.
In Rapides Parish, LDAF received complaints from two more landowners. One owner’s complaint was similar to the first landowner’s: Johnson was hired to log the land but did not pay for the timber. The third complaint stated that Johnson cut a tract of timber without consent.
Johnson was booked into the Rapides Parish Jail on two counts of theft of timber less than $25,000 for these offenses. No bond has been set at this time.
If convicted, Johnson could receive a fine of up to $5,000 and/or jail time up to five years for each count of timber theft.
All persons are presumed innocent until proven guilty.