Nacogdoches man arrested for timber theft in East Texas

Crime & Public Safety

NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KETK)- A 61-year-old man was arrested in connection to an East Texas timber theft case.

Clinton Moore of Nacogdoches was arrested and charged with a third degree felony in Cherokee County for timber purchase with intent to defraud the timber, valued between $20,000- $100,000.

A warrant was obtained by Texas A&M Forest Service law enforcement officers with a $12,000 bond for Moore’s arrest. Moore turned himself in to the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office. 

Some East Texas landowners said they had a verbal agreement with Moore that he would harvest the timber on their 60-acre property in Recklaw.

The landowners contacted Texas A&M Forest Service for help after “recurring non-payment issues”, they said. Investigator Mike Kuhnert began an investigation and found that Moore owed the landowners more than $23,000 in stumpage, based off the fair market values given by Moore from the owners.

“My goal in all of these cases is to get the landowner made whole, but there comes a time when excuses run out – which leads to where we are now.”

Investigator Mike Kuhnert

Moore blamed the non-payments on external reason such as equipment breakdowns and wet weather conditions. The case was sent to a grand jury and received an indictment leading to Moore’s arrest.

To prevent timber theft, landowners should:

  • Visit their property frequently.
  • Have someone they know and trust report any cutting on their land immediately.
  • Never sign a contract without checking several references of the buyer.
  • For the best price, insist on getting bids for their timber.
  • Mark all property lines to assure cutting on adjacent property does not encroach on theirs.
  • Utilize trail/deer cameras on their property that can record suspicious activity or individuals.
  • Always hold their timber contractor to the agreed upon terms.

If you are a landowner wanting to sell timber, contact your local Texas A&M Forest Service office, or to report suspected timber theft or suspicious activity, call the Texas A&M Forest Service Law Enforcement Timber Theft Hotline at 1-800-364-3470.

The Texas A&M Forest Service Law Enforcement Department works with local officials to help bring those responsible for timber theft and other violations of the natural resource code to justice.

To contact a Texas A&M Forest Service Law Enforcement Investigator your area, visit this webpage.

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