Lacey Act Violation Update: Wood Supplier Indicted on Lacey Act Charges

A Washington State mill and its owner who state they supplied big leaf maple to music industry companies have been indicted on federal charges of receiving stolen federal property and violating the Lacey Act. Also indicted were three individuals who allegedly harvested bigleaf maple from federal forest without the requisite permits.

The indictment, unsealed late in July, alleges that illegally harvested bigleaf maple from a federal forest was transferred by the three individuals to J&L, which in turn sold the wood to unsuspecting buyers, including at least two -- a guitar manufacturer and a wood supplier -- in the music industry.  Neither company was named as a defendant.  The indictment alleges that J&L did not require individuals from which they purchase maple to display a specialized forest products permit, not did they maintain the required records of specialized forest products permits numbers.

Trial in the case has been set to begin September 29.  The case again highlights the necessity for all wood buyers, including guitar and other instrument manufacturers, to exercise due care in maing sure they purchase legally-harvested wood from reputable sources.