COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Texas A&M Forest Service Law Enforcement Investigators made an arrest earlier this month in an alleged timber theft case in Rusk County.
Anthony Laquinn Holman, 43, of Beckville, Texas was arrested July 2, 2019 by agency investigators, Panola County Constables and members of the Panola County Sheriff’s office.
Rusk County District Attorney Michael Jimerson charged Holman with a Third Degree Felony of Timber Purchase as Trustee With Intent to Defraud.
“Unfortunately there are criminals out there who take advantage of landowners and steal valuable timber without the landowner’s knowledge,” said Texas A&M Forest Service Investigator Colton Covington. “With the guidance of a consultant forester, landowners can help avoid or deter theft from their logging operation.”
The Texas A&M Forest Service law enforcement department works diligently with local officials to help bring those responsible to justice. Recent significant TFS investigations have resulted in close to $289,000 being recovered and paid back to affected landowners.
Covington recommends ways landowners can protect themselves from becoming victims of timber theft:
- Visit your property frequently.
- Have someone you know and trust report any cutting on your land immediately.
- Never sign a contract without checking several references of the buyer.
- For the best price, insist on getting bids for your timber.
- Mark all property lines to assure cutting on adjacent property does not encroach on yours.
- Utilize trail/deer cameras on your property that can record suspicious activity or individuals.
If you are unfamiliar with selling timber, you are urged to contact your local Texas A&M Forest Service office. Our field staff will assist you with securing the assistance of a professional resource manager to help select trees for harvest, estimate values and find potential buyers.
For more information, please visit https://tfsweb.tamu.edu/lawenforcement/reporttimbertheft/
To report suspected timber theft activity call the Timber Theft Hotline 1-800-364-3470.
Jeremy Wagner, Chief Law Enforcement Officer, 832-494-7144, firstname.lastname@example.org
Texas A&M Forest Service Communications, 979-458-6606, email@example.com