Vernon Parish Man Arrested on Timber Related Charges

Baton Rouge, La. – Forty-eight-year-old James Travis Johnson of Travis Johnson Logging was arrested by the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry’s (LDAF) Forestry Enforcement Agents for failing to pay for $24,000 of timber in Vernon Parish. Johnson was charged one count of Harvest of Forest Products/Failure to Remit Payment.

In November 2022, LDAF agents received a complaint from a landowner in Vernon Parish about not getting paid for their timber. According to the landowner, Johnson Logging was hired to cut their timber and compensate them proceeds from the sale. Once the job was completed, no records or payment had been received, and the landowner stated they were never paid for their timber. Although Johnson was contacted several times, he would promise payment and never show up. The investigation revealed the landowner was owed approximately $24,407.65 for their timber.

On November 16, 2022, Johnson surrendered himself at the Vernon Parish Sheriff’s Office on one count of Harvest of Forest Products/Failure to Remit Payment. The bond was set at $20,000.00.

“Timber theft can take a variety of forms—from harvesting timber without the landowner’s knowledge or consent to entering into a formal agreement and not paying them the full purchase price,” said LDAF Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M. “LDAF agents are committed to helping landowners get paid for their timber in cases like this.”

Note: All persons accused of any crime are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

The public is urged to report any forestry-related crimes to the LDAF Office of Forestry at 225-925-4500 or the LDAF 24-hr hotline at 1-855-452-5323.