Missouri Department of Conservation Agents Make Arrests
Multi-agency investigations brings numerous charges connected to walnut timber theft in area counties in Missouri.
According to a report from the Missouri Department of Conservation:
The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) and cooperating agencies have conducted multiple investigations of walnut timber theft in three counties. These investigations have led to multiple felony and misdemeanor charges against eight suspects. Most of the thefts were from public land in the Truman Lake area, although some thefts on private land were also reported.
According to Protection District Supervisor Joni Bledsoe, the overall saw log value of the stolen walnut trees was $61,804. These trees were taken off public lands in Henry, Benton, St. Clair, and Vernon counties. Bledsoe also noted the trees had a scenic value to people and a food and habitat value for wildlife. The walnut trees stolen from public lands were taken from MDC conservation areas and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers land. Thefts on private land were also reported, including property owned by The Nature Conservancy.