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Courts

UP timber harvester pleads guilty to stealing trees from state

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MENOMINEE, MI— A Stephenson man charged in connection with stealing more than $100,000 of timber from the State has pleaded guilty to one of his three original charges.

Raymond Vetort, owner of R&J Logging, had a contract to log on state land, but he allegedly marked and took timber not allowed by the contract. On Thursday Vetort pleaded guilty in Menominee Circuit Court to trespassing or damages to state land—$20,000 or more. In return, charges of larceny and malicious destruction—trees, shrubs, crops, grass, turf, soil were dropped.

Vetort must pay $50,000 in restitution to the State by his sentencing date and will not be able to bid on DNR logging contracts as part of the plea agreement.

Sentencing is set for December 10.