POLICE BEAT

Prospect loggers accused of tree theft

Posted July 18, 2012, at 4:46 p.m.
Last modified July 19, 2012, at 1:21 p.m.

BUCKSPORT, Maine — A Bucksport landowner says father and son loggers harvested $5,000 worth of lumber from her 98-acre lot without paying.

Maine Forest Ranger John Cousins issued summonses to Paul MaGuire and his son, David, both of Prospect, on charges of failure to pay for trees harvested. The two will be arraigned Sept. 18.

Bucksport landowner Kelly Hannaford said she contracted the father and son in January and that they quickly stopped paying for the wood she says they took off her land.

“I stopped getting paid but noticed the wood was still leaving,” Hannaford said Wednesday. “Every single week there were different excuses. Skidder breakdowns, sick kids, bad weather, you name it.”

Hannaford said this year is her fourth harvest, but the first year she had contracted the MaGuires. In April, after an alleged period with no contact with the MaGuires, she contacted Cousins, who has been investigating the alleged theft since.

Maine law requires loggers to pay landowners for lumber within 45 days of delivering the wood to a handling or processing facility. Failure to pay for trees harvested carries a maximum fine of $1,000, plus restitution based on handling or processing facility receipts.

Follow Mario Moretto on Twitter at @riocarmine.

CORRECTION:

A clarification is necessary on this story. The report should have said that failure to pay for trees harvested — the charge levied against the loggers by the Maine Forest Service — is a civil infraction, not a criminal charge. The summons does not imply an attempt to deny payment, which could have resulted in a theft charge.

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