BATON ROUGE, LA (NBC33) — An east Texas man was arrested on the morning of August 12 for theft of timber after an investigation in which Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF) agents found that he failed to pay for almost $33,000 worth of timber.
Thomas Curtis Fields, 43, was arrested in Mansfield and booked into the Desoto Parish jail.
Investigators say Fields cut 50 loads of timber off 80 acres of timberland north of Logansport in Desoto Parish. The timber is valued at $65,482. Fields also failed to secure the required permission from one of the landowners.
“Timber is a major commodity in Louisiana that is policed and monitored by our forestry enforcement division. Like anything of value, it is often the target of thieves, and violators will be prosecuted. Last year alone, we recorded approximately $3.3 million in timber loss to owners because of theft,” said LDAF Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M.
The timber was cut between November 2011 and January 2012. Fields was released after posting a $30,000 bond. If convicted, Fields could get up to ten years in prison, be fined and/or required to pay restitution.