TACOMA, Wash. (AP) - A man responsible for stealing old-growth red cedar trees - some more than 600 years old - from the Olympic National Forest is being sentenced in U.S. District Court in Tacoma.
Prosecutors are seeking 18 months in prison for 46-year-old Craig James of Aberdeen, who was the leader of the ring. They site the serious ecological damage; the stand of old growth was one of the last remaining ones in the area.
One coconspirator has already been sentenced to five months in prison, while another received no prison time.
But one of the lead investigators on the case won't be there to see it Friday.
Forest Service Officer Kristine Fairbanks was shot and killed last September while on patrol near Sequim (Skwim), Wash. The gunman, Shawn Roe, was shot and killed by sheriff's deputies in a
confrontation later that day.
The lead investigator on the timber theft case, Forest Service Special Agent Anne Minden, says it was the last big case that Fairbanks worked.