A man involved in a timber poaching effort in Olympic National Forest that started a big wildfire has been sentenced to more than two years in prison. Shawn Williams, 49, pleaded guilty to theft of public property and setting timber afire charges in U.S. District Court in December 2019, The Kitsap Sun reported.
Williams and Justin Wilke were charged last year for their roles in an illegal logging operation in the national forest in 2018 in which they and others felled maple trees and sold the wood to lumber mills, according to court documents. The type of maple is highly prized and used to produce musical instruments, prosecutors said. Williams, who lived in the Hood Canal area, cut the felled trees into rounds or blocks and sold them to a Tumwater mill under the false pretense that the wood had been cut on private land under permit, an indictment said.
The “figured wood” was cut near Lena Lake in Jefferson County and Elk Lake in Mason County and sold for about $13,400 in the months leading up to the fire, court papers said.