The value of the harvested timber is estimated at approximately $3,000.

Investigators with the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF) arrested a 39-year-old Livingston Parish man in connection with suspected timber theft in Holden, La.

In May 2018, LDAF enforcement agents received a complaint that the suspect, Derma Brent O’Neal, of 20976 Nevada St., Livingston, La., entered into a contract with a Livingston Parish landowner to harvest approximately 3.5 acres of his mixed hardwood and pine timber.

The harvesting of timber began in July 2016. After the logging operation was completed, investigators say the landowner was not compensated for the timber. The value of the harvested timber is estimated at approximately $3,000.

“Timber is a major industry in our state and we aggressively pursue timber theft complaints in an effort to protect landowners. 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.

O’Neal was arrested on June 28, 2018 by LDAF enforcement agents and booked into the Lafourche Parish Detention Center on unrelated criminal charges. If O’Neal bonds out of jail, he will then be booked into the Livingston Parish Jail on the timber related charges.

O’Neal is charged with theft over $1000 for the timber harvested in Livingston Parish. If convicted, O’Neal could face up to five (5) years in prison and/or up to $3,000 in fines.

Contributed by LDAF