BOAEN FOUND GUILTY OF TIMBER THEFT LIVINGSTON, September 13, 2019 - A Polk County jury found Dwane Foster Boaen, age 41 of Livingston, guilty of State Jail Felony Timber Theft on Wednesday, September 11, 2019 in the 411th Judicial District Court. In a one day trial, First Assistant District Attorney Beverly D. Armstrong presented evidence showing how Boaen had unlawfully directed the cutting and hauling of timber from his neighbor’s rural property near Milton Creek north of Livingston. The investigation started in late 2014, when the Polk County Sheriff’s Department was contacted by Mrs. Anna Lee, who advised several acres of virgin timber had been cut on property she had been leasing without her permission. Deputies Terry White and Richard Delaney began the investigation and learned that Lee had been leasing the property from Howard Victery, a resident of Oklahoma, for several decades. During the trial, jurors heard testimony from multiple prosecution witnesses including a log hauler who testified before the jury that Dwane Boaen provided the location for the hauling. Additionally, the State presented the timber contract, logging tickets, and a check to show how the defendant received payment from the sale of the stolen timber. In addition, the landowner testified that the property boundary had been clearly identified with purple paint–a common property line indicator throughout timberland. A professional forester testified at trial that the landowner had incurred approximately $18,000.00 in damages as a result of the timber theft by Boaen. The jury deliberated for less than an hour before returning the Guilty verdict Wednesday evening. The defendant will be sentenced by Judge Kaycee Jones in the 411th Judicial District Court at a later date. Boaen faces a sentence of up to two years in prison and a possible fine of up to $10,000. Following the trial, Polk County District Attorney Lee Hon commented that “...this case exemplifies how timber theft continues to be an ongoing problem in Polk County and throughout East Texas.” “Absentee land owners are especially vulnerable to this type of theft and it cannot be overstated how important it is for absentee timber growers to maintain vigilance with respect to their property or have someone locally keeping an eye on their property,” Hon added.
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