News and Press Releases

Incline Village Woman Charged with Removing Pine Trees from Forest Service Lands

January 23, 2008

Reno, Nev. – A woman has been indicted by the Federal Grand Jury for hiring a commercial tree cutting business to remove three 80- to 100–year-old Ponderosa Pine trees from a U.S. Forest Service lot adjacent to the Incline Village property where she resides, announced Gregory A. Brower, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada.

Patricia M. Vincent, 58, was indicted on January 16, 2008, and is charged with one count of Willingly Injuring or Committing any Depredation Against Any Property of the United States and one count of Theft of Government Property. The Indictment alleges that on April 7, 2007, Vincent employed the commercial tree removing business to remove the trees in order to enhance her view, and that the resulting damage was in excess of $1,000. If convicted, she faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each count.

"It is important that public lands, which are held in trust for the benefit of all citizens, are appropriately protected by our land management agencies," said U.S. Attorney Brower. "Individuals who unlawfully encroach on these lands and cause damage will be prosecuted. "

The U.S. Forest Service lot is located at 590 Driver Way in Incline Village, and is designated by the U.S. Forest Service as an environmentally sensitive urban lot designed to protect the Lake Tahoe Basin.

Vincent was summoned to appear before United States Magistrate Judge Valerie P. Cooke, on Monday, February 25, 2008, at 3:00 p.m. for an initial appearance and arraignment and plea.

The case is being investigated by the United States Forest Service, Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit, and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Ronald C. Rachow.

The public is reminded that an Indictment contains only charges and is not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

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