RUSK COUNTY, Texas (KETK) – A Rusk County logger was indicted by a grand jury on a felony charge of timber purchase with intent to defraud, according to the Texas A&M Forest Service.
The forest service said in a release on Thursday that Terry Aron Beall, 57 of Henderson, who did business as 2-Beall Logging, is accused of stealing between $500 and $20,000 in proceeds from a timber sale in 2021 from a Rusk County landowner.
“Beall had an agreement with the landowner to harvest timber from the property; however, the landowner contacted the Texas A&M Forest Service Law Enforcement Department after noticing discrepancies in the paperwork provided by Beall after the harvest,” the forest service said.
Texas A&M Forest Service Law Enforcement Investigator Mike Kuhnert said an investigation determined the landowner was not being compensated for all of the timber that was removed from the property.
“It’s always important to trust your gut,” Kuhnert said. “When your gut is telling you something isn’t right, it’s always a good idea to do some research and see what’s going on.”
The forest service said 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 their
- Utilize trail/deer cameras on their property that can record suspicious activity or individual
- Always hold their timber contractor to the agreed-upon terms
“Landowners who are unfamiliar with selling their timber are urged to contact their local Texas A&M Forest Service office,” officials said. “Texas A&M Forest Service field staff assists landowners with the process of securing the services of a professional resource manager to help select trees for harvest, estimate values and find potential buyers.”