Teens arrested for deer theft

Published 5:00 am Saturday, January 6, 2018

The Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF) Livestock Brand Commission recently arrested two teenagers for allegedly shooting and taking a farm-raised deer in Washington Parish.

Investigators said the deer was described as a 2-and-a-half year old, white-tailed deer, 23-point buck, weighing approximately 200 pounds and measuring 181 points on the Boone and Crocket Scale. According to the owner, the estimated value of the deer was $8,500.

“Farm raised deer and exotics in Louisiana are considered ‘alternative livestock,’ which are regulated by the LDAF,” LDAF Commissioner Dr. Mike Strain said. “Our alternative livestock industry consists of more than 300 licensed farms creating both a multi-million dollar annual economic impact and recreational opportunities in the ‘Sportman’s Paradise’ in which we live.”

On Dec. 30, LDAF brand investigators determined that Drake Barber, 19, of Franklinton, and Dustin Miller, 17, of Franklinton, shot and removed the deer from the owner’s property on the night of Dec. 26. Both Barber and Miller were booked into the Washington Parish Jail on Dec. 30, for theft of property valued over $5,000 but less than $25,000. If convicted, the suspects face a fine and/or possible jail time.

“Investigators said after the suspects illegally shot and killed the deer, it appears they posted a photo with the deer in question on a Facebook page,” Strain said. “Going to someone’s private property and stealing their livestock is a crime.”

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and the Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office also assisted with these arrests.

Washington Parish Sheriff Randy Seal commented on the arrests.

“This case exemplifies the hard work, dedication and cooperation of law enforcement agencies,” Seal said. “I want to extend special recognition to Dr. Mike Strain and the Louisiana Department of Agriculture, Livestock Commission and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries for a job well done.

“These young men have confessed to this crime, a first step in taking responsibility for their actions. Hopefully, others will learn from their mistake.”