PRENTISS, Maine — A Lakeville man paid $250 in fines on Tuesday for illegally harvesting trees from land on Sam Rowe Ridge off Aurora Road in Prentiss last year, officials said.
Greg Rollins of Lakeville pleaded guilty in Lincoln District Court to unlawful cutting of trees and failure to notify of harvesting operations. He paid $200 on the former charge plus $50 on the latter, Maine Forest Service Lt. Peter Pelletier said.
The value of the amount of wood taken was not available Tuesday.
Landowner Chris Jones could only estimate that the area in which the wood was cut was 30 feet by 50 feet. Pelletier and Ranger Dustin Pickering, who is stationed in Lee, declined to comment further on the case.
The illegal-harvesting case is the second reported in the last two weeks. State police and Maine forest rangers served search warrants on four Medway locations on Friday as part of an investigation into about $20,000 worth of wood cut illegally from a Hartland wood lot.
Investigators say the wood hauled from Hartland went to close to a dozen mills statewide. He identified the logging company, but the Bangor Daily News is withholding the name because no one has been charged with a crime.
The Medway investigation is continuing, Pelletier said. Both cases are among several hundred illegal theft complaints the forest service investigates annually.
The number of complaints the forest service receives has risen every year for the last few years, Pelletier said.
“We are doing a better job of pursuing and following through with these cases and the general public is more aware of violations, so they are reporting more cases,” Pelletier said Tuesday.
Anyone wishing to report or discuss illegal wood theft may call the rangers at their Old Town regional headquarters at 827-1800 or call the rangers’ main state office in Augusta at 800-750-9777, Pelletier said.