Texas man pleads guilty to timber theft

(USDA photo/file)
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COLLEGE STATION, Texas (KWTX) Thomas Curtis Fields, 49, of Frankston, has pleaded guilty to unauthorized harvesting of timber valued between $100,000 and $200,000 after cutting down trees on private property near Jacksonville in Cherokee County without permission.

The landowner had met with Fields to discuss an estimate on the harvest, but no agreement was reached on sale of the timber, authorities said.

The theft was discovered a few months later, authorities said.
“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.

The theft was reported in November 2017 and Fields was indicted in April 2018.

A restitution hearing is pending.

“Our law enforcement department works diligently with local officials to help bring those responsible to justice,” said Covington.

“Timber theft is more common than most people think.”