You gotta be careful when you enter the national forests in this country…cause the rules are – only George Washington can chop down a cherry tree.
O.K. – being a bit serious…here’s one that I know won’t make national attention – hence it deserves a mention on this blog just for posterity.
United States Attorney Mary Beth Buchanan announced today, May 5, 2008, that Joseph Michael Harvey, a resident of Ridgway, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty in federal court to a charge of theft of government property.
WHAT DID HE TAKE YOU MIGHT ASK?
Harvey, age 40, pleaded guilty to one count and Assistant United States Attorney Marshall J. Piccinini advised the court that Harvey and another co‑defendant stole property belonging to the United States, by cutting down and removing approximately 11 black cherry trees from the Allegheny National Forest, having a value in excess of $1,000.00.
NOW WHAT THE HECK WOULD ANYONE WANT WITH 11 DEAD BLACK CHERRY TREES?
Judge McLaughlin scheduled sentencing for July 31, 2008 at 10:00 a.m. The law provides for a total sentence of ten years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offense and the criminal history, if any, of the defendant.
Wow…as a white collar crime speaker, I’ve got to mark this date on my calendar just to see what kind of sentence is issued for a tree chopper.