Baton Rouge, La. (February 20, 2015) – An Allen Parish couple is charged with six counts each of forestry equipment theft and one count each of simple criminal damage to property.
Investigators say Joey Ganson, 34, was already in jail on unrelated charges. He was booked January 15, 2015. Jamie Coker-Brown, 34, was arrested and booked on February 12, 2015. Last September, the Allen Parish Sheriff’s Office (APSO) started receiving complaints that hundreds of gallons of diesel fuel, radios and other equipment were missing from a logging operation in the Westbay Wildlife Management area.
APSO detectives contacted investigators with the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF) and a three month joint investigation began.
Investigators say Coker-Brown admitted that she and Ganson committed the thefts which occurred during the months of September and October.
LDAF Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M., said, “Our investigators and the APSO were able to locate and recover much of the stolen equipment. It is through these partnerships and the ability to work together that we are able to bring suspects to justice.”
Ganson and Coker-Brown also face multiple charges from the APSO in connection to thefts from area businesses. Both have been placed on probation hold by the State Department of Corrections.
If convicted of theft of more than $25,000, the suspects face a minimum of five years hard labor and a fine not to exceed $50,000 or both. If convicted of criminal property damage, the suspects face imprisonment with or without hard labor for at least two years and a fine not to exceed $1,000 or both.