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Jackson County man ordered to pay for cutting timber in national forest

COLUMBUS — Larry R. Adkins Jr., 42, of Oak Hill, was sentenced in United States District Court to pay $44,844.62 in restitution to the U.S. Forest Service for illegally cutting and removing 822 trees from the Wayne National Forest in Gallia County.

He was also ordered to perform 200 hours of community service and serve three years of probation including six months of home confinement with electronic monitoring.

Carter M. Stewart, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, and Richard R. Glodowski, Special Agent-In-Charge for the Eastern Region of the U.S. Forest Service, announced the sentence handed down recently by U.S. District Judge Edmund A. Sargus, Jr.

Adkins pleaded guilty on March 4 to one felony count of damaging property of the Forest Service and one felony count of willfully and knowingly stealing trees with a value of more than $1,000, which was property of the United States.

According to court documents, on Nov. 15, 2006 a Forest Service employee was driving on the Symmes Creek Road, within the boundary of the Wayne National Forest Ironton Ranger District in Gallia County, when he observed what appeared to be a timber trespass onto National Forest Service System (NFS) lands.

The employee notified a Forest Service law enforcement officer who began a preliminary investigation into this incident.

Investigators determined that the cutting and removal of trees from NFS lands occurred between the dates of Sept. 1, 2006 and Nov. 30, 2006.

The timber trespass appraisal conducted by the Forest Service revealed there were 822 trees which were cut and removed from NFS lands at the Symmes Creek site.

The total lost timber value for those trees cut and removed from the Symmes Creek site was approximately $34,000.

The Forest Service incurred additional losses of almost $10,000 in addressing the damage at the site. These trees were of mixed species including hardwood and softwood trees which were sold to three different mills for use as saw timber or pulpwood.

Stewart commended the investigation by forest service law enforcement officers and Special Agents, as well as Assistant U.S. Attorney Mike Marous, who prosecuted the case.