For Immediate Release: Aug. 23 , 2012
Contact: Carmen Fenton, 512-469-0171
Houston – A Washington County man was arrested today by authorities after he was charged with third degree felony livestock theft. Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association Special Ranger Doug Hutchison and Washington County Sheriff’s Investigator Damon Wegner led the investigation.
Benjamin Gonzales, 47, is accused of stealing 2 calves from his employer’s ranch in Washington County and selling them at an auction market in Giddings, Texas. The calves were worth a total of $1,000.
According to Special Ranger Hutchison, the calves were not branded, but the victim kept a close eye on his herd and noticed they were missing soon after. Hutchison said that a paper trail and eyewitness statements led authorities to Gonzales.
Gonzales is in the Harris County jail but is scheduled to be transferred to Washington County later today. Bond is set at $50,000. If convicted, he could face up to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
TSCRA Special Ranger Jimmy Belt assisted with the investigation.
TSCRA would like to thank Sgt. Virginia Brasher with the Houston Police Department for her help in arresting Gonzales.
TSCRA has 30 special rangers stationed strategically throughout Texas and Oklahoma who have in-depth knowledge of the cattle industry and are trained in all facets of law enforcement. All are commissioned as Special Rangers by the Texas Department of Public Safety and/or the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation.
TSCRA is a 135 year-old trade association and is the largest and oldest livestock organization based in Texas. TSCRA has more than 15,000 beef cattle operations, ranching families and businesses as members. These members represent approximately 50,000 individuals directly involved in ranching and beef production who manage 4 million head of cattle on 76 million acres of range and pasture land primarily in Texas and Oklahoma, but throughout the Southwest.