COEUR D’ALENE – Norman Leroy Bogart, 54, of Kingston, Idaho, pleaded guilty yesterday in federal court to illegally cutting timber on national forest lands, U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced. An information charging him with one felony count of willful injury or depredation to property of the United States was filed in United States District Court in Coeur d’Alene on June 17, 2013.
According to the plea agreement, the defendant admitted that between April and October, 2012, he cut and hauled timber illegally from an area within the Idaho Panhandle National Forests, near his home in Kingston, Idaho. The U.S. Forest Service began to investigate after discovering that 40 green trees had been cut within the one area. U.S. Forest Service investigators used a deer camera to capture Bogart’s vehicle traveling to and from the cut location.
On October 3, 2012, the U.S. Forest Service executed a search warrant at Bogart’s residence and seized more than 58 cords of timber cut into firewood. One pile was estimated to be 40 feet long, 10 feet wide and 10 feet tall, according to the plea agreement. Investigators determined that most of the timber was green when cut. Investigators matched some of the larger timber seized from Bogart’s property to several stumps at the cut location within the Idaho Panhandle National Forests.
“We are pleased to see this case prosecuted and want to emphasize that timber theft will not be tolerated on national forest system lands,” said Mary Farnsworth, Idaho Panhandle National Forest Supervisor. “I especially would like to thank our law enforcement officers who invested many hours investigating this case to ensure the public is reimbursed for their losses.”
The charge of willful injury or depredation to property of the United States is punishable by up to ten years in prison, a maximum fine of $250,000, and up to three years of supervised release.
Sentencing is set for September 16, 2013, before U.S. District Judge Edward J. Lodge at the federal courthouse in Coeur d’Alene.
The case was investigated by the U.S. Forest Service, with the assistance of the Idaho State Police, the North Idaho Violent Crimes Task Force, and the Shoshone County Sheriff’s Office.