Stacie Laine Soape, 44, of Carthage, was sentenced to 12 years in prison on Monday after pleading guilty to her involvement in the Sept. 30, 2014, theft of 12 head of cattle and ranching equipment from a Harrison County rancher.
Harrison County 71st District Court Judge Brad Morin sentenced Soape after reviewing the joint investigation by TSCRA Special Ranger Larry Hand and Harrison County Sheriff’s Investigator BJ Fletcher.
A second suspect, Michael Duane Nettles, 32, was sentenced to 35 years in prison on Feb. 18, 2016. Two additional suspects, Alex Christopher Hinton, 36, and Elizabeth Ann Newton, 39, are out on bond and await trial in Harrison County.
A previous felony conviction enhanced Soape’s theft of livestock offense from a third degree felony to second degree felony. She is currently being held at the Harrison County Jail and will be transferred to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.
Seven of the 12 stolen cattle, 3 saddles, assorted tack and numerous power tools were recovered in Panola County. Four black steers and one white heifer are still missing. Anyone with further information regarding the cattle unaccounted for in this case are urged to contact TSCRA’s Operation Cow Thief hotline at 888-830-2333 or Special Ranger Hand at 903-592-5252.
TSCRA would like to thank the following for their roles in this lengthy investigation: Harrison County Sheriff’s Office Investigator BJ Fletcher; Panola County Sheriff Kevin Lake, Investigative Sgt. Jeff Ivy and Patrol Deputies Robert Duncan; Panola County Constables Mitch Norton and Bryan Murff; Texas DPS Intelligence and Counterterrorism Division; Louisiana Brand Investigator Carnie Burcham; Harrison County District Attorney Coke Solomon and his staff; and TSCRA Market Inspector Pat McGuigan.
“I am pleased Judge Morin held this cattle thief accountable,” stated Hand. “I also appreciate District Attorney Solomon, his staff and the many other law enforcement officials who have worked diligently throughout this investigation. Thanks to these efforts, another cattle thief is in prison and justice prevailed for these victims.”