A Hudson Valley man is accused of cutting down trees from his neighbor's property and starting an illegal brush fire.

At the end of March, a Department of Environmental Conservation officer was called to an illegal brush fire in the town of Rochester. The property adjacent to the fire was part of an active investigation for the illegal cutting of several trees removed without the owners' permission, police say.

When the officer interviewed a man he said he started the brush fire to "clean up the bank," according to the DEC.

The man later admitted to cutting and taking several of the trees over the course of the past year from a neighboring property, officials say.

Much of the wood was cut into chunks and taken from the neighbor's property and moved to the man's own property, according to the DEC.

With the additional statements and evidence, along with photographs and statements from the complainant, the Ulster County man was charged him with timber theft, petit larceny, trespass and unlawful open burning, the DEC reports.

The DEC announced on Wednesday, the unnamed man was arraigned in the town of Rochester Court on April 10 and pleaded guilty to the timber theft and unlawful open burn charges, according to the DEC.

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