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Federal Charges Filed in Wilderness Timber Theft Investigation


April 15, 2004

Thorne Bay, Alaska - U.S. Forest Service law enforcement officers arrested one man and seized a tug boat Friday, April 9 as part of a continuing investigation of timber theft on Prince of Wales Island, according to Tongass National Forest Supervisor Forrest Cole. "We take protection of the Tongass National Forest very seriously," the Supervisor noted. "This case is just one example of the hard work of our Law Enforcement and Investigations Unit to protect the Forest."

Forest Service Assistant Special Agent in Charge Martin Myers said that 32-year-old Wade Tiffany, of Thorne Bay, was arraigned Monday, April 12 and charged in the theft, cutting and transport of a commercial quantity of red cedar logs from the shoreline and several other locations of the South Prince of Wales Wilderness. Myers noted that Tiffany is charged with the theft, cutting and transport of these logs which were cut and prepared in a manner that made them readily marketable to the export market. Tiffany was also charged with killing deer out of season, and a variety of Wilderness Act violations. Myers added that the investigation is ongoing, and other arrests may follow.

Myers also praised the support provided by the U.S. Coast Guard, who participated in the search and subsequent seizure of Tiffany and his vessel, he noted. "This would have been a very difficult operation without their assistance."

Penalties for theft of timber from National Forests vary with the severity of the act, but range from up to $5,000 fine and/or six months imprisonment for a misdemeanor offense, and up to $250,000 and/or not more then 10 years imprisonment for a felony. Tiffany was charged with two felony counts.


News source:

USFS - Tongass National Forest
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