Pikeville man pleads guilty to stealing logs from state forest
PIKEVILLE, Tennessee (WDEF) – A man charged with stealing logs from a state forest has pleaded guilty.
John T. Simmons was charged in June.
State Agriculture officials say he was seen loading logs onto a trailer along a road in the Bledsoe State Forest.
The logs came from a salvage sale of timber blown down in the area.
After a grand jury indicted him, he pleaded guilty to all charges.
They include theft of property, trespass and vandalism.
His sentence is to pay back the value of the timber, the costs of retrieving the timber and a year of probation.
“Whether the timber theft is intentional or accidental, on public or private land, it can lead to fines and possible jail time,” ACU Captain Greg Whitehead said.
“The estimated value of the 24 stolen logs, in addition to the employee and equipment costs associated with this case, were part of the penalties assessed. Stolen timber can be hard to track, and we were fortunate that Simmons was observed stealing the logs. ACU will follow every lead and use every tool at our disposal to find and prosecute timber thieves.”