The Texas A&M Forest Service is reporting that Anthony Dewayne Major, 43, of Livingston, has pleaded guilty to the second-degree felony charge of engaging in organized criminal activity. The charge stems from a timber theft investigation that involves three individuals.

Major was sentenced to 10 years of deferred adjudication and ordered to pay a $5,000 fine and $102,776 in restitution. The timber theft took place in Liberty County.

A deferred adjudication is a form of probation that allows Major to accept responsibility for the crime without a conviction placed on his record.

Major was indicted, along with Willie Johnson of Livingston and Roderick Parks of Point Blank, by a Liberty County grand jury in December 2021. The three were accused of conspiring to steal timber revenue from their employer.

Johnson pleaded guilty to a third-degree felony charge of theft of between $30,000 and $150,000 in May and was sentenced to 10 years of deferred adjudication and ordered to pay a $10,000 fine. The case against Parks is pending.

The thefts occurred over a six-month period in 2019.

Texas A&M Forest Service law enforcement investigators said evidence linked the three men, all logging truck drivers, to illegal timber sales through a third-party contract. The drivers obtained a fraudulent bill of sale to present to the sawmill and falsified entries in their delivery logbooks, said Josh Mizrany, Investigator with Texas A&M Forest Service Law Enforcement Department.

The logging contractor became suspicious of his drivers’ activities and called investigators, Mizrany said.

Mizrany stressed the importance of proper documentation and even game cameras to track timber on a harvesting site in an effort to prevent theft.

“If you’re looking for a logger, make sure you know what contracts your wood is being sold under,” Mizrany said. “The wood accountability systems, the loader sheets, game cameras, constantly monitoring the wood pile and working with your local and Texas A&M Forest Service law enforcement are some of the best tools available.”

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 assist 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. The Texas A&M Forest Service Law Enforcement Department works with local officials to help bring those responsible for timber theft and other violations of the natural resources code to justice.

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