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Man charged with 16th Section timber theft

SAUCIER — A Saucier man has been charged with three counts of stealing timber from school-owned lands in Pearl River County.

Authorities say 54-year-old Harold Edwin Simmons is accused of stealing $375,000 in timber from three 16th Section land sites.

Two of the parcels belong to the Poplarville school district and the third is the property of the Pearl River County district.

Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann, during a press conference today in Poplarville, says Simmons had been hired by the school districts to cut trees from the 16th section lands.

Hosemann says Simmons underreported the amount of timber he had cut. Simmons was tracked through sales of timber to local paper mills.

District Attorney Hal Kittrell says Simmons’ case will be presented to a grand jury.

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