Texas A&M Forest Service law enforcement investigators along with Harrison County officials arrested Thomas Earl Haggerty of Marshall on warrants issued by the county’s district clerk.
Haggerty, who was previously investigated while operating under the company Zepco Logging, was indicted by the Harrison County grand jury in relation to three separate timber theft cases.
“Along with the evidence presented to the jury by the Harrison County District Attorney Coke Solomon, this indictment was also the result of several tips to the TFS Timber Theft Hotline that alleged Mr. Haggerty had conducted deceptive and fictitious business practices,” said TFS Chief of Law Enforcement Les Rogers.
TFS continues to work closely with officials to investigate other cases potentially involving Haggerty.
Timber theft is a crime that potentially affects everyone. Timber owners incur monetary loss and the removal of natural resources without reforestation methods to ensure new forests for the future.
To help property owners avoid timber theft tactics, the Texas A&M Forest Service advises:
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.
If you are unfamiliar with selling timber, you are urged to contact your local TFS office. Our field staff will assist you with securing the assistance of a professional resource manager to help determine trees for harvest, estimated values, and potential buyers.
For detailed information visit http://origin.library.constantcontact.com/download/get/file/1102418437760-421/Timber+theft+is+a+crime.pdf.
To report suspected timber theft activity call the Timber Theft Hotline 1-800-364-3470 or contact Texas A&M Forest Service at (936) 639-8113.