Two LaSalle Men Arrested for Arson
Two LaSalle Parish men have been arrested in Grant Parish in connection with arson and damage to property, according to a news release from the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry.
Harley Arledge, 18, of 1774 Warner Street in Olla, LA, was arrested Tuesday, August 27, 2013 and booked into the Grant Parish Detention Center in Colfax. The arrest came after he confessed his involvement in these crimes to investigators.
The following day, Arledge’s alleged accomplice, 19-year-old James Benjamin Beckley, III, of 12652 Hwy. 126, Olla, LA, was also arrested.
Investigators allege that Arledge and Beckley entered U.S. Forest Service land in Grant Parish, LA, in July of 2013. They also allege that Arledge and Beckley damaged several pieces of logging equipment and set fire to a log truck, causing damage estimated at more than $30,000.
“This is a disregard for property and equipment that is being used to conduct business and make a living,” said Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M.
The arrests were the result of a month long investigation conducted by the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry enforcement agents, Grant Parish Sheriff’s Office detectives and U.S. Forest Service investigators.
Arledge and Beckley are each charged with one count of simple arson, one count of criminal mischief and two counts of criminal damage to property.
If convicted, the suspects could face a maximum of 15 years in prison and/or a fine up to $15,000 for simple arson. The penalty for criminal damage to property is up to two years in prison and/or a maximum fine of $1,000. They could also face up to six months for criminal mischief and a maximum fine of $500.