POSTED: Wednesday, February 6, 2013 - 5:00am
UPDATED: Wednesday, February 6, 2013 - 5:04am
Louisiana — An Arkansas man was arrested by Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF) enforcement agents and charged with five counts of timber theft Wednesday morning.
David Mallard, 51, of Taylor, Arkansas, was arrested and booked into the Bayou Dorcheat Detention Center in Webster Parish and charged with five felony counts of theft of timber valued at nearly $42,000.
The arrest was the result of a two-month long investigation in which investigators found that Mallard, who was operating as Stateline Timber Services during July - August 2012, had forged timber deeds from three Webster Parish landowners. These fraudulent deeds were then sold to a timber company in Springhill which is about 25 miles north of Minden near the Arkansas line.
“We aggressively pursue timber theft complaints in an effort to protect landowners and one of the largest industries in the state. 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, D.V.M.
According to forestry investigators, Mallard was paid in full by the timber company and when the timber company began cutting these timber tracts, they were informed by owners that they had not given permission for their timber to be cut nor had they been paid. Enforcement agents say the timber company tried to recover their money from Mallard which resulted in two additional theft charges.
Mallard was released after posting a $25,000 bond.