Man sentenced for buying maple wood illegally cut on federal land

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TACOMA, Wash. (AP) — Officials say a former mill owner in Winlock, Washington, has been sentenced to six months in prison and must pay nearly $160,000 in restitution for buying wood illegally cut on national forest service land.

The Justice Department said in a news release that Harold Clause Kupers was also sentenced Tuesday to six months of home detention and three years of supervised release.

Officials say Kupers admitted to purchasing multiple cuts of wood without requiring the seller to show a valid Specialized Forest Products Permit, as required by law. Officials say he sold the maple for nearly $500,000 between 2012 and 2014.

Two men who illegally cut the wood, James Miller and Ryan Justice, have been sentenced for theft of public property to six, and 15 months in prison, respectively. A third man, Kevin Mullins, is scheduled to be sentenced in June.

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