BATON ROUGE, La. (KLFY) –Three suspects have been arrested for stealing thousands of cypress logs in Franklin Parish.
A joint investigation with the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF) and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division resulted in the arrests of Michael Shane Harris, 42, of Wisner, Ronnie Bert Mason, 48, and Daniel Neal Chapman, 39, both of Jonesville.
The trio was arrested on Nov. 30, 2018 and booked into the Franklin Parish Detention Center for theft involving cypress logs.
On Oct. 14, 2018, LDAF agents received a complaint that individuals were taking cypress logs from private land in Turkey Creek Lake without consent of the landowners in Franklin Parish.
Agents said an investigation revealed that Harris, Mason and Chapman allegedly cut and removed downed cypress trees that were lying in the waterway from several different private landowners’ property on Turkey Creek Lake and sold the logs for profit without permission.
The logs are valued at $8,373.13.
“LDAF enforcement agents take agriculture and forestry-related crimes seriously and seek justice when individuals break the law,” Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M. said.
Chapman was charged with one count of theft less than $1,000, and Harris and Mason were charged with one count each of theft less than $25,000 and theft less than $1,000.
To report a timber theft, contact the Office of Forestry at 225-925-4500 to file a complaint.