- Associated Press - Friday, July 22, 2016

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - Two Fairbanks brothers arrested in an undercover operation for trying to sell wood stolen from state land on Craigslist have had their charges dropped.

Arthur Edward Hughes, 46, and Gerald Thomas Hughes, 47, agreed to a lifetime ban on harvesting wood at the Chena River State Recreation area as part of a deal with prosecutors. Assistant District Attorney Spenser Rupert said the agreement addresses the problem without further cost to the state.

“They’ve agreed not to harvest wood in that area, they’ve agreed not to seek permits, they’ve agreed that they’re barred,” Rupert said. “They could seek different types of permits. But they’re not going back to the Chena River Recreational Area again.”

The brothers were charged with theft, conducting commercial activities in a state park without a permit and disturbing natural objects in a state managed area, The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported (https://bit.ly/2akNEB1).

Court documents say Alaska State Park rangers had first become suspicious of the brothers’ activity in the recreation area in December when a ranger spotted the two and another man loading wood into a truck. The ranger left after Gerald Hughes showed them his personal use wood-cutting permit.

That same day, the documents show, the ranger responded to a Craigslist ad offering wood for sale and arranged to meet a man who identified himself as “Art.”

The brothers showed up for the meeting with a truck full of wood and were arrested.

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Information from: Fairbanks (Alaska) Daily News-Miner, https://www.newsminer.com

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