BATON ROUGE, La. (LDAF) - An Assumption Parish man has been arrested for trespassing and harvesting standing cypress timber on land owned by the state of Louisiana.
On February 14, Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry enforcement agents received a complaint of an individual cutting down cypress trees off of land owned by the state of Louisiana near Grand Bayou in Assumption Parish.
LDAF enforcement agents went to the suspected site which was accessible only by boat. They observed a houseboat moored to state property along with a homemade timber sawmill and a shed type structure on the bank of this land. Several signs in the area indicate that the land belongs to the state of Louisiana. Enforcement agents also observed stumps of cypress trees in the area as well as milled cypress cut lumber.
A joint investigation between the LDAF and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries resulted in the arrest of Scott Paul Breaux, 47, of Pierre Part, Louisiana.
“Timber theft is a serious crime. Cypress is a long-term crop, part of our indigenous culture and vital to the ecosystem,” said Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M.
Breaux was arrested on March 13 and booked into the Assumption Parish Jail on charges of theft of timber and criminal trespass.
If convicted, Breaux faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison, a fine of up to $5000, or both.