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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Virginia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Wise County Man Sentenced to Prison Term for Illegal Logging

Justin Stanley to Spend Three Months in Federal Prison, Pay Over $20,000 in Restitution

ABINGDON, VIRGINIA – A Wise County man, who illegally removed timber from United State Forrest Service land for profit, was sentenced today in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia, United States Attorney John P. Fishwick Jr. announced.

Justin Alexander Stanley, 21, of Pound, Va., previously pled guilty to one count of illegally removing timber from public lands and one count of illegally cutting or injuring timber on public lands. Today in U.S. District Court, Stanley was sentenced to three months in federal prison and ordered to pay $20,457 in restitution.

“Protecting our public lands is paramount to ensuring future generations have natural resources to enjoy,” United States Attorney Fishwick said today. “When individuals like Mr. Stanley destroy these resources for profit, law enforcement will hold them accountable.”

According to information presented at previous hearings by Assistant United States Attorney Zachary T. Lee, Stanley purchased a tract of land in Wise County in 2015 that bordered landed owned by the U.S. Forest Service. Stanley had purchased the property to log it in order to make some money. However, despite the property being surveyed and properly marked, Stanley cut down approximately 42 trees from the United States Forest Service property, some of which were large and very valuable. In addition, to facilitate his illegal logging activity, Stanley used a bulldozer to cut four separate “roads” into the property. The value of the timber cut and/or damaged on U.S. Forest Service land was $14,272 and it is estimated it will cost $6,177 to perform erosion control on the roads Stanley cut.

The investigation of the case was conducted by the United States Forest Service and the Virginia Department of Forestry. Assistant United States Attorney Zachary T. Lee prosecuted the case for the United States.

Updated December 1, 2016