LaSalle Man Charged with Additional Felony Timber Theft
An investigation by the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF) has resulted in additional felony timber theft charges for a Jena, LA man. James Marcus Ainsworth, 39, of 254 Joiner Road, Jena was arrested Monday morning of last week by forestry agents and booked into the LaSalle Parish Jail on two counts of felony timber theft totaling just over $18,600.
Investigators say complaints were filed by two LaSalle Parish landowners. The first complaint was made by a Jena couple that was promised between $4,000-5,000 for timber from six acres of land, but only received $1,616.49. The second complaint was made by a Jena man who was initially told he would receive $8,500 for the timber on his six acres and only received $4,125. The timber on both tracts was cut during the months of August and September 2013.
LDAF Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M., said, “Our investigators found that Ainsworth cut the timber with the landowners’ permission and that he was paid promptly for the timber. No scale tickets, settlement sheets or loader’s log were ever received by either landowner as required under state law. They simply received a check for a fraction of what they were promised.”
Ainsworth was originally arrested in September 2014, by forestry agents and booked into the LaSalle Parish Jail on one count of felony timber theft of more than $10,400. Ainsworth was arrested again by forestry investigators on October 2, 2014, in LaSalle Parish for an additional count of felony theft of more than $28,000. Ainsworth was then arrested on October 31,2014 for two additional counts of timber theft in Catahoula Parish totaling nearly $29,000.
Anyone who may have done business with Ainsworth is asked to contact the LDAF office at 225-925-4500.