Man arrested for cutting down cypress trees on state owned land
BATON ROUGE – An Assumption Parish man has been arrested for trespassing and harvesting standing cypress timber on land owned by the state of Louisiana.
A joint investigation between the LDAF and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries led to the arrest of 47-year-old Scott Paul Breaux, of Pierre Part, Louisiana.
The Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF) followed up on a complaint of an individual trespassing on land owned by the state of Louisiana near Grand Bayou in Assumption Parish.
LDAF agents went to the land, which is only accessible by boat, where they discovered the individual had been cutting down standing cypress trees.
Reports show that the officers observed a houseboat pulled onto state property, along with a homemade timber sawmill, and a shed type structure on the bank of the land.
Enforcement agents also observed stumps of cypress trees in the area as well as milled cypress cut lumber.
Agents say there are several signs in the area that indicate the land belongs to the state of 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 faces 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 $5,000 or both.