October 1, 2010

State of Alabama
Press Release: Forestry Commission, Alabama

Two Men Arrested for Defrauding Lumber Companies

Investigators with the Alabama Forestry Commission (AFC) recently made two arrests in Clarke County for related crimes. On September 22, 2010, Rex Daryl Reese, age 24 of Linden [Marengo County], was charged on four counts of “Theft by Deception, Second Degree.” On September 23, Jessie Lee Harris, age 33 of Alberta [Wilcox County], was charged on three counts of “Receiving Stolen Property, First Degree” for an undisclosed amount of money.

 

AFC Law Enforcement Craig Hill says the two men are charged with defrauding two Alabama forest products companies by creating bogus scale tickets, which generated payments for loads of timber that were never delivered to the companies. Hill credits one of these businesses with discovering the scheme and reporting the illegal activity to authorities. He said the AFC’s investigation is continuing and it is likely that more charges will be filed. Agencies assisting with this investigation were the office of District Attorney Spencer Walker of the First Judicial Circuit and the Marengo County Sheriff’s Office.

 

If convicted, Theft by Deception, Second Degree is a Class C Felony which carries a jail sentence of 1-10 years and a fine up to $15,000. Receiving Stolen Property, First Degree is a Class B felony which carries a jail sentence of 2 to 20 years and a fine up to $30,000.

 

The AFC is committed to reducing forestry-related crimes which generate losses of hundreds of thousands of dollars annually to landowners, the timber industry, and Alabama’s economy. The AFC provides a “Forest Crimes Hotline" so that citizens can call and report wildland arson, theft of timber, and theft of harvesting equipment. The toll-free number is 1-800-222-2927.

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This release reports arrests only.  All suspects are innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.

 

 

For more information, contact:

Chief Craig Hill

334.850.3665

craig.hill@forestry.alabama.gov



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