Saucier man pleads guilty to 3 felony counts of timber theft - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Saucier man pleads guilty to 3 felony counts of timber theft

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JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

54-year-old Harold Edwin Simmons of Saucier, MS has pled guilty to three counts of felony timber theft, following an investigation by the Secretary of State's Office, the Department of Agriculture, and the Mississippi Forestry Commission.

We are told that Simmons was accused of stealing approximately $250,000 worth of timber harvested from three separate 16th Section land sites in Pearl River County.

"Stealing timber is literally taking money from our schoolchildren," says Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann.  "With schools having to make do with less, that money could have gone toward education of our children.  We want everyone to be on notice that stealing from our school children will not be tolerated."

The Secretary of State's Office says that as part of his plea agreement, Simmons wil serve 30 consecutive days and 48 weekends in Pearl River County. He will serve 1.5 years on house arrest following incarceration and 2.5 years on post-release supervision.

"Timber theft is taken very seriously, and protecting our state's landowners from crimes such as this is important. I am very thankful for the cooperation between the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce's Agricultural and Livestock Theft Bureau and the other state agencies involved in this investigation," says Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce Cindy Hyde-Smith.

The Secretary of State's Office says that timber theft is a growing problem in our state, accounting for over $3,000,000 in losses in the last 5 years. 

 

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