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Livingston man accused of timber theft

Livingston man is charged with timber theft in connection with an incident two years ago, according to the Louisiana Department of Agriculture & Forestry.

Derma Brent O'Neal, 39, was arrested June 28 by LDAF enforcement agents and booked into the Lafourche Parish Detention Center on unrelated criminal charges, according to LDAF.

Enforcement agents received a complaint in May from a property owner in Holden. According to LDAF, O'Neal entered into an agreement with the landowner to harvest about 3.5 acres of hardwood and pine timber. Harvesting began in July 2016 and when logging was completed the landowner was not compensated for the timber, which was valued at about $3,000.

O’Neal is charged with theft over $1,000 for the timber harvested in Livingston Parish. If convicted, O’Neal could face up to five years in prison and/or up to $3,000 in fines.

According to the Lafourche Parish Detention Center website, O'Neal was being held at the facility on $45,000 bond. If O’Neal bonds out of jail, he will then be booked into the Livingston Parish Jail on the timber related charges.

“Timber is a major industry in our state and we aggressively pursue timber theft complaints in an effort to protect landowners. We encourage anyone who is aware of this type of activity to please contact our Office of Forestry at 225-925-4500,” said LDAF Commissioner Mike Strain

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