Trucker pleads to felony theft of wood chips
A Sabine Parish man received a 10-year suspended sentence with three years supervised probation after pleading no contest to one count of theft over $25,000 involving the theft of a wood byproduct, according to the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry.
Veachel V. Parker Jr., 77, of Parker Circle in Nobel, pleaded no contest Oct. 31. According to LDAF Enforcement Division, Parker stole 62 loads of wood chips from Natchitoches Tie & Lumber. The theft occurred from September through December 2017. Parker was arrested Aug. 28, 2018, after an eight-month investigation.
LDAF investigators said Parker, who owns and operates Parker Trucking LLC was hired by the Natchitoches sawmill to take the wood chips and fiber fuel to other mills. He then would take the sawmill byproduct and sell it to another mill in DeSoto Parish under Parker Trucking's contract, then keeping the money.
“While we frequently investigate timber theft, this was the first case we’ve investigated involving theft of a wood byproduct," said LDAF Commissioner Mike Strain. "Regardless, we aggressively pursue these cases and work closely with prosecutors to bring these criminals to justice.”
In addition to the suspended prison sentence, Parker was ordered to pay $30,317 in restitution to the Natchitoches Parish sawmill.
LDAF Enforcement Division, Natchitoches Parish Police Jury and Natchitoches Parish District Attorney's Office worked jointly on the case.