Grand jury indicts Texas man on two counts of unauthorized harvest of timber, with each charge a state jail felony; Texas A&M Forest Service investigators were alerted to alleged crime by sawmill operator, who became suspicious of the origin of timber

Sample article from our Government & Public Policy

COLLEGE STATION, Texas , February 1, 2023 (press release) –

A Newton County man has been indicted by a grand jury on two counts of unauthorized harvest of timber.

Brian Christopher Martin, 42, of Newton, is accused of acquiring timber from two properties in Newton County and selling it to a sawmill without the owners’ knowledge.

Texas A&M Forest Service Law Enforcement investigators were notified by the mill operator, who became suspicious of the origin of the timber. An investigation determined Martin cut more than $900 of timber from one property and more than $1,660 of timber from a second property in early 2022, said Jarred Lemmon, Texas A&M Forest Service Assistant Chief of Law Enforcement.

Each charge is a state jail felony, which is punishable by up to two years in a state jail and a fine of up to $10,000.
Lemmon said landowners, particularly those who don’t always frequent their property, should be vigilant in monitoring for unexpected activity.

“If you don’t have an opportunity to do that in person, you need to get to know your neighbors or find someone you trust in the area to help you keep an eye on your investment,” Lemmon said. 

An indictment is not a finding of guilt; rather, the grand jury determined enough evidence exists to warrant a trial.

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.

Landowners who are unfamiliar with selling their timber are urged to contact their local Texas A&M Forest Service office. 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.

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.

For more information, visit

The Texas A&M Forest Service law enforcement department works diligently with local officials to help bring those responsible for timber theft and other violations of the natural resources code to justice. 

Texas A&M Forest Service contacts:
Jarred Lemmon, Texas A&M Forest Service Assistant Chief of Law Enforcement, 903-756-8170,
Texas A&M Forest Service Communications Office, 979-¬458-6606,




* All content is copyrighted by Industry Intelligence, or the original respective author or source. You may not recirculate, redistrubte or publish the analysis and presentation included in the service without Industry Intelligence's prior written consent. Please review our terms of use.

See our dashboard in action - schedule an demo
Dan Rivard
Dan Rivard
- VP Market Development -

We offer built-to-order government & public policy coverage for our clients. Contact us for a free consultation.

About Us

We deliver market news & information relevant to your business.

We monitor all your market drivers.

We aggregate, curate, filter and map your specific needs.

We deliver the right information to the right person at the right time.

Our Contacts

1990 S Bundy Dr. Suite #380,
Los Angeles, CA 90025

+1 (310) 553 0008

About Cookies On This Site

This website stores cookies on your computer. These cookies are used to improve your website experience and provide more personalized services to you, both on this website and through other media. To find out more about the cookies we use, see our Privacy Policy. We won't track your information when you visit our site. But in order to comply with your preferences, we'll have to use just one tiny cookie so that you're not asked to make this choice again.