Crime - Sacto 911

Chico fraternity sentenced for cutting down trees in Lassen National Forest

A fraternity at California State University, Chico, has been ordered to perform 9,800 hours of community service for cutting down trees in Lassen National Forest during an initiation ceremony.

The Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity pleaded guilty to illegally cutting or otherwise damaging timber, trees or forest products, according to a U.S. Attorney’s Office news release. In addition to the community service, U.S. Magistrate Judge Craig M. Kellison on Tuesday ordered the fraternity to pay a $4,000 fine and to pay restitution in the amount of $4,387.97 to the Lassen National Forest. The fraternity also received a three-year term of probation.

The former president of the Chico Pi Kappa Alpha chapter, Evan Clinton Jossey, was sentenced to a term of court probation and a $1,000 fine after pleading guilty to the same offense, the news release said.

Jossey and other members of the fraternity participated in an initiation ceremony at the Deer Creek Trailhead in the Lassen National Forest. During the ceremony, 32 trees were cut down at the site, according to the complaint.

The case resulted from an investigation by the Tehama County Sheriff’s Office and the U.S. Forest Service, Law Enforcement and Investigations.

Cathy Locke: 916-321-5287, @lockecathy