Nessel charges alleged timber thief with multiple felonies

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Dana Nessel

In this June 4, 2019, photo, Dana Nessel, Attorney General of Michigan, listens to a question from reporters in Detroit. Hundreds of boxes. Millions of records. From Texas to Michigan this month, attorneys general are sifting through “secret” files, nondisclosure agreements between the church and families, heart wrenching letters from parents begging for action, priests’ own psychiatric evaluations. They’re looking to prosecute, and not just priests. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Attorney General Dana Nessel has charged Raymond Vetort with three felonies. According to the Office of the Attorney General, Vetort stole more than $100,000 of timber from the state, in addition to trespassing and malicious destruction.

“Conservation is a balance between preservation of our state’s natural resources and regulation of the industries that contribute to the health of our economy,” said Nessel. “Those who profit from Michigan’s bounty must abide by the terms and conditions set forth in their contracts in order to strike that balance. This individual violated those terms, took advantage of the state’s resources for his personal profit, and must be held accountable”.  

Vetort’s business, R&J Logging, did have a contract to enter and log on state land, however, Vetort allegedly marked and took timber that was not permitted through the contract.

Vetort faces the following charges:

  • One count of trespassing or damages to state land amounting to $20,000 or more is a 10-year felony and/or a $15,000 fine
  • One count of larceny which is a 10-year felony and/or a $15,000 fine  
  • One count of malicious destruction of trees, shrubs, crops, grass, turf, soil amounting to $20,000 or more is a 10-year felony and carries a $15,000 fine

Vetort was charged today at 95-A District Court in Menominee. An indictment on the information in this case will take place on July 20 at 9:30 a.m.

To read the charging documents, click here.

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