3 arrested for theft of cypress logs in Franklin Parish
Three men are charged with stealing almost $9,000 worth of cypress logs in Franklin Parish, according to the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry. LDAF and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries joined in an investigation that led to the Nov. 30 arrests of Michael Shane Harris, 42, of Wisner, Ronnie Bert Mason, 48, and Daniel Neal Chapman, 39, both of Jonesville. Complaints were received by LDAF agents on Oct. 14 that cypress logs were being taken from private land in Turkey Creek Lake without consent of the Franklin Parish landowners. Agents allege Harris, Mason and Chapman cut and removed the cypress trees that were lying in the waterway from several private landowners' properties without their permission, then sold the logs for profit. The logs were valued at $8,373. “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.