Area men arrested for stealing timber
Published: Wednesday, January 1, 2003 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 1, 2003 at 12:16 a.m.
Six local men have been arrested after authorities determined they stole 970 loads of timber they were supposed to have delivered to the Georgia-Pacific Corp., officials said Tuesday.
Officials at Georgia-Pacific learned there was a group stealing timber and then selling it for profit, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
The people arrested operated as a contracted logging crew to cut, skid, load, haul and deliver timber to Georgia Pacific plants and mills in northeast Florida, according to the FDLE.
Instead, truck drivers bypassed a tagging security system when leaving the woods with logs and then delivered them to other yards. About 970 loads worth $850,000 were stolen, according to the FDLE.
Those arrested and charged with organized fraud include Roosevelt Jones, 62, of Gainesville; Silas Alexander, 53, and Eugene Donald, 38, both of Williston; and Benjamin Myles, 27, Hezekiah Myles, 33, and Woodrow Myles, 42, all of East Palatka. A seventh man, Ishmael Foster, 21, of Orlando, was also arrested. More arrests are expected, according to the FDLE.
The investigation was conducted by representatives from Georgia-Pacific, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Division of Agricultural Law Enforcement and the Office of Statewide Prosecution, Northeast Florida Bureau.
Kathy Ciotola can be reached at 338-3109 or ciotolak@ gainesvillesun.com.
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