NASHVILLE – A Pikeville man has pleaded responsible to stealing timber from Bledsoe State Forest.
In June, Agricultural Crime Unit (ACU) Particular Brokers with the Tennessee Division of Agriculture charged John T. Simmons with timber theft after Simmons was seen loading logs onto a trailer alongside a forest road.
After a grand jury indictment, he pleaded responsible to all costs, collectively with theft of property, felony trespass, and vandalism. Simmons will serve one yr probation and should pay again The worth of the logs and The prices of retrieving the stolen timber.
The ACU and the Division of Forestry labored with Bledsoe County’s regulation enforcement and district lawyer on the case. The stolen logs have been An factor of a salvage sale from timber that was blown down Inside The world.
“Whether or not the timber theft is intentional or unintentional, on public or private land, It might Finish in fines and potential jail time,” ACU Captain Greg Whitehead said. “The estimated worth of the 24 stolen logs, Together with The worker and gear prices Associated to this case, have been An factor of the penalties assessed. Stolen timber Could be exhausting To hint, and we have been fortunate that Simmons was noticed stealing the logs. ACU will Adjust to every lead and use every system at our disposal To Search out and prosecute timber thieves.”
ACU is a specialised unit devoted to investigating and implementing state regulations and regulations related to agriculture, forestry, animal well being, and agribusinesses. Go to the ACU’s webpage to study extra, www.tn.gov/agriculture/consumers/ag-crime-unit.
The Tennessee Division of Agriculture’s Division of Forestry protects Tennessee’s forests by stopping wildhearths, coordinating hazard emergency response, offering prescribed hearth steerage and contract providers, As properly as to wildland hearth teaching. Furtherextra, the Division promotes the accountable use of forest assets by aiding landowners, offering extreme quality seedlings, monitoring bugs and illnesses, enhancing metropolis forests, managing state forests, defending water extreme quality, and amassing forest inventory knowledge. The Division additionally works To promote primary and secondary forest industries to stimulate the state’s financial system. Go to www.tn.gov/agriculture/forests for extra information.