Special to the News Herald

A logging contractor has been indicted by a Rusk County grand jury on a state jail felony charge of timber purchase as trustee with intent to defraud.

Terry Aron Beall, 57, of Henderson, doing business as 2-Beall Logging, is accused of stealing between $500 and $20,000 in proceeds from a timber sale from a Rusk County landowner in 2021, according to the Texas A&M Forest Service.

Beall had an agreement with the landowner to harvest timber from the property; however, the landowner contacted the Texas A&M Forest Service Law Enforcement Department after noticing discrepancies in the paperwork provided by Beall after the harvest, according to the forest service.

After an investigation, it was determined the landowner was not being compensated for all of the timber removed from the property, said Mike Kuhnert, Texas A&M Forest Service law enforcement investigator.

Kuhnert stressed the importance for landowners to protect their investment by monitoring all harvest activities, including having a wood accountability system in place requiring proof of documentation. This can be achieved by the landowner or by utilizing the services of a consulting forester, which the forest service recommends.

“It’s always important to trust your gut,” Kuhnert said. “When your gut is telling you something isn’t right, it’s always a good idea to do some research and see what’s going on.”