Three charged with stealing trees from state forest

      William Battles

      Authorities are charging three upstate New York men with illegally cutting down more than 70 trees in the Altmar State Forest.

      The trees - most of them black cherry - were worth more than $35,000.

      Indicted on felony charges of grand larceny, criminal possession of stolen property and criminal mischief are 49-year-old William Battles of Parish; 43-year-old Ted Bennett of Pulaski; and 36-year-old Michael Humberstone of Rensselaer Falls.

      The most serious charges carry maximum prison sentences of seven years.

      Bennett and Battles were released on their own recognizance after an arraignment. Humberstone was sent back to the Broome County Correctional Facility, where he is being held on unrelated federal charges.

      A court clerk had no information Friday on whether the men have lawyers.