Agents in Action
and Carter counties, U.S. Forest Service Law Enforcement officers, National Park Service rangers and Shannon County Sheriff’s Office deputies all responded immediately. The ensuing investigation led to the arrest of a man on two counts of felony arson.
The two fires consumed 67 acres of forest, and because the fires were set on U.S. Forest Service property, the charges went through the federal courts.
The arsonist was ordered to pay $13,965 in restitution and for the cost of suppressing the fires and to serve nine months in federal prison. After his release from prison, he was put on probation for three years.
Everyone has a fair chance at the bids for timber sales on Conservation Department lands, but not all people are willing to play fair to obtain the timber.
Through a tip from a concerned citizen, Shannon County Conservation Agent Brad Hadley learned that some people were slipping onto Department land and illegally cutting timber. People in the logging industry sometimes call this type of stealing “grandmawing.” The Department’s Forestry Division determined that timber yielding approximately 23,000 board feet of lumber had been taken.
After an investigation, two men were arrested on felony charges of stealing. Both pleaded guilty. One was sentenced to three years in prison, while the other was ordered to pay $1,750 in restitution and $275.50 in fines and court costs. He was also put on three years’ probation.
Conservation Agent Jerry Elliott received a call from a Douglas County landowner who complained that a neighboring landowner was repeatedly harassing two hunters the caller was allowing to hunt his land.
According to the report, the man seriously endangered the hunters by intentionally shooting over their heads.
Agent Elliott enlisted the help of Texas County Conservation Agent Travis Mills and District Supervisor Roy Hoggatt to handle the matter. Mills and Hoggatt were positioned so they could observe the offending landowner’s residence while the permitted hunters parked their vehicle and began their hunt.
A couple of hours later, Agent Hoggatt was walking out of the property toward the road when several rifle shots went over his head.
Elliott and Mills immediately went to the offending landowner’s property and found him in possession of a rifle. During questioning, he stated that he was trying to “mess up the birds for them.” A witness to the events stated that the suspect was upset because he used to hunt the property, but now someone else was.
The suspect was charged with interference