POSTED: Tuesday, September 3, 2013 - 4:00pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, September 3, 2013 - 4:04pm
LASALLE PARISH, LA — Two Lasalle Parish men were arrested last week in connection with arson and damage to property.
Harley Arledge, 18, was arrested Tuesday, August 27, 2013 and booked into the Grant Parish Detention Center in Colfax after he confessed to investigators about his involvement in these crimes. The following day, Arledge’s alleged accomplice, James Benjamin Beckley, III, 19, was also arrested.
In July, investigators say Arledge and Beckley entered onto U.S. Forest Service land in Grant Parish, damaged several pieces of logging equipment and set fire to a log truck, causing damage estimated at more than $30,000.
“This is a disregard for property and equipment that is being used to conduct business and make a living,” said Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M.
The arrests were the result of a month long investigation conducted by the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry enforcement agents, Grant Parish Sheriff’s Office detectives and U.S. Forest Service investigators.
Arledge and Beckley are each charged with one count of simple arson, one count of criminal mischief and two counts of criminal damage to property.
If convicted, the suspects could get a maximum of 15 years and/or a fine of up to $15,000 for simple arson. The penalty for criminal damage to property is up to two years in prison and/or a maximum fine of $1,000 and up to six months for criminal mischief and a maximum fine of up to $500.