Two people charged with stealing 2,000 trees from county lands

By KBJR News 1

Tara Lynn Herrick (left) and Steven George Morterud (right)

November 15, 2013 Updated Nov 15, 2013 at 1:36 PM CST

Hibbing, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- A Northland pair has been charged with stealing nearly 2,000 trees from county lands in St. Louis County.

23 year old Tara Lynn Herrick and 22 year old Steven George Morterud, both of Meadowlands, MN, are charged with Theft of Timber and Land Use Trespass. Morterud is also charged with Violation of an Order for Protection.

According to the criminal complaint, a Department of Natural Resources officer was called to an area in Toivola on November 7th in regard to an ongoing spruce tree top theft on county administered land.

The officer says he noticed freshly cut spruce trees that appeared to be at least one hundred yards into the county property along with piles of bundled tree tops.

When the officer came back the next day, he ran into Morterud and Herrick carrying bundles of the trees off the site. Both were arrested, taken to the Hibbing jail and charged.

In the complaint, both admitted that they didn’t know who owned the land but knew they should not be there cutting trees.

The pair had planned on selling the trees in Rochester, MN. The total value of the trees when sold would have been nearly $12,000.

Posted to the web by Krista Burns
kburns@kbjr.com