Large Standing Black Cherry Trees Unlawfully Removed From Knox Lake Wildlife Area
Court orders $3,213 in restitution from two defendants
COLUMBUS, OH- Two individuals were convicted of stealing over three-thousand dollars worth of large black cherry trees from the Knox Lake Wildlife Area, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife.
Boundary inspections conducted by Division of Wildlife Officers and Fisheries Management Staff around Knox Lake in March 2007, found several cases of property encroachment, including the cutting and removal of nine standing black cherry trees from a State Wildlife Area. State Service Forester, Cotton Randall, estimated the trees would have been approximately 2,540 board feet.
Richard Weiler, 60, of Fredericktown was found guilty of charges relating to the unlawful cutting and removal of large standing black cherry trees from a wildlife area. Weiler was ordered by the court to pay fines of $235.00, additional court cost, and $1,606.50 in restitution to the Division of Wildlife.
Don Miller, 41, of Mount Vernon was found guilty of charges relating to the unlawful cutting and removal of large standing black cherry trees from a wildlife area. Miller was ordered by the court to pay fines of $175.00, additional court cost, and $1,606.50 in restitution to the Division of Wildlife. He will serve two years probation.
Investigations revealed Richard Weiler, whose property is adjacent to the Knox Lake State Wildlife Area, hired Millers Tree Service owned by Don Miller. Millers Tree Service was responsible for the cutting of the trees. The logs were sold to a logging company for a lump sum of $3,500.
Anyone observing wildlife violations may report illegal activity by calling the TIP hotline toll free at 1-800-POACHER.