Indiana Conservation Officers have arrested five individuals as a result of an active timber theft investigation stemming from Pulaski County.
Wheatfield residents Jeremiah Schwanke, 36; Larissa Schwanke, 29; and Jonathan Petty, 32; and San Pierre residents Richard Schwanke, 31; and Kristyn Hickman, 32; were taken into custody on March 30.
Conservation officers, working closely with the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department and Medaryville Police Department, made the arrests after suspected stolen timber was observed during a traffic stop on March 29. As a result of the stop, information was gathered linking all subjects to a recent timber theft complaint.
The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information regarding this case, the suspects, or other suspicious timber cutting in northern Indiana are asked to call DNR Law Enforcement Central Dispatch at 812-837-9536.
All suspects are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in a court of law.
Indiana Conservation Officers encourage landowners and potential timber sellers to use INForestryX.com, a resource managed by the DNR Division of Forestry that provides up-to-date information on Certified Forestry Consultants, Licensed Timber Buyers and Registered Timber Agents.
DNR Law Enforcement recommends that landowners who are prospective timber sellers work only with licensed and bonded timber buyers and that they secure written contracts for all timber transactions.