An eastern Oklahoma man pleaded no contest to a charge of felony larceny of cattle on Aug. 18 after he was named in the 2014 theft and sale of 4 heifers from an Adair County, Okla., rancher. TSCRA Special Ranger Bart Perrier led the investigation.
Jay David Fuson, 25, of Stilwell, Okla., was a suspect in the theft of 4 heifers on Sept. 19, 2014, from a rancher near Christie, Okla. The heifers were taken from a set of locked pens on the victim’s ranch. The following day Fuson transported the cattle to the Tahlequah Livestock Auction, where he attempted to sell them under different names.
The victim was at the livestock sale when his cattle were sold and he was able to stop the sale, identify and recover 3 of the 4 heifers. All of the heifers were ear notched, which aided in their identification and recovery. The 3 stolen heifers have been returned to the victim. One heifer was unable to be recovered because it sold before being identified as stolen.
Fuson pleaded no contest to a 5-year deferred sentence, which includes a $500 fine, $2,409.60 in restitution and $938.50 in court costs.
“This case highlights the importance of branding and marking livestock. It is an invaluable tool for law enforcement to quickly locate, identify and recover stolen livestock,” said Perrier.
A Henryetta, Okla., man surrendered to authorities Wed. and was charged with 7 counts of felony larceny of livestock. TSCRA Special Ranger Bart Perrier led the investigation.
According to Perrier, Devin Alex Longan, 19, and Kiley Johnson, are suspects in the theft of 7 calves from an Okfuskee County rancher. The stolen calves were transported to the Okmulgee Livestock Auction and sold. Longan and Johnson are alleged to have visited the Okmulgee stockyards on the following day to retrieve a check for the sale of the calves.
Longan has been formally charged on this case and is being held in the Okfuskee County Jail on a $100,000 bond. Longan will return to court on Sept. 1.
Johnson is incarcerated on charges filed in Okfuskee County and is being held on a $200,000 bond on an unrelated case.
TSCRA would like to thank Detective Jeremy Wade with the Henryetta Police Department for his work and assistance during this investigation.
“This case provides an excellent example of TSCRA Special Rangers working closely with local law enforcement to investigate cattle theft cases and seek justice for ranchers who unfortunately become victims,” said Perrier.
TSCRA Special Ranger Steve Martin, Dist. 30 in South Texas, reports 8 head of cattle missing from properties in Brooks, Karnes and Bee Counties. Some time since June two Charolais bulls went missing from pastures in Karnes and Bee Counties. Both bulls, one weighing approximately 1100 pounds and the other weighing approximately 1700 pounds, have a 4E connected brand on their left hip. Martin also reports 5 cows and a bull missing from a property in Brooks County since Aug. 1. Two of the cows are 5 year old reddish Beefmaster crosses with no horns weighing approximately 800 to 900 pounds, each. These cattle have an “open 8” brand that looks like a shoe print on the left hip; the remaining 3 cows are two-year-old Beefmaster crosses weighing approximately 650 to 700 pounds, each with no brands. Two of the cows are muley (hornless) and one is horned. The missing bull is a horned reddish Beefmaster cross weighing approximately 1500 pounds with the same “open 8” brand on the left hip. If you have any information regarding these cases, please call Special Ranger Martin at 361-358-8851.
TSCRA Special Ranger Jimmy Dickson, Dist. 14 in East Texas, reports the theft of 10 head of cattle from a property in Freestone County. Some time between Aug. 18 and 24 a thief or thieves removed a chain and lock from a gate to steal the 9 red unbranded heifers and 1 black cow branded JJ on the left hip. If you have any information regarding this case, please call Special Ranger Dickson at 903-586-8733.
Crooks and criminals in America’s farm country are turning to an old crime — cattle rustling. The high price for beef and substance abuse are behind the surge in livestock theft, and that’s putting some ranchers on edge. National Public Radio talked to victims of theft and the TSCRA Special Rangers who investigate. Read more or listen to the story at NPR.org…
TSCRA Special Ranger Hal Dumas, Dist. 21 in near East Texas, reports two thefts involving saddles, bridles, a Kawasaki Mule 4×4, and miscellaneous ranch equipment from properties in Robertson and Burleson counties. On July 30 a thief or thieves cut a lock to gain entry to a property in Robertson County to steal a black 2010 Kawasaki Mule 4×4, a Kobalt air compressor, a Poulan 16-inch chain saw and 18-inch bolt cutters. An additional theft was reported on Aug. 15 at a roping held on the Burleson County Fairgrounds. Stolen was a Jeff Smith “Region X Champion Header” trophy saddle; a Clay Hamel full roughout saddle and several bridles. If you have any information regarding these thefts, please call Special Ranger Dumas at 979-828-5832.
TSCRA Special Ranger Robin Clark, Dist. 28 in South Texas, reports the theft of a cattle chute from a property near Biry in Medina County. Some time on Aug. 18 a thief or thieves cut a lock on a gate to steal a Titan West manual cattle chute with a palpation cage, serial no. 0929092315G. Click here to view a similar style chute. If you have any information regarding this theft, please call Special Ranger Clark at 830-278-5778.
Cattle prices continued their upward climb in the past week, according Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service regional reports. And as cattle prices continued to be high, the rate of cattle rustling was rising.
“The rates of cattle theft have been high for a couple of years, but the perception is they have been rising again lately,” said Dr. Jason Banta, AgriLife Extension beef cattle specialist, Overton.
Larry Gray, executive director of law enforcement and theft prevention services for the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association, confirmed this perception.
“Cattle are a very valuable commodity right now,” Gray said. “And like any other commodity, when the supply goes down, prices go up. We’re beginning to get back into the restocking phase.”
There are 30 commissioned peace officers who serve as special rangers for the association. The rangers typically investigate about 1,000 agricultural crime cases and recover an average of $5 million in stolen cattle and assets for ranchers annually, Gray said. Among other duties, the special rangers investigate thefts of cattle, horses, saddles, trailers and equipment, along with instances of poaching.
This year alone, Gray said the association has investigated 405 cases of cattle theft, which constituted a total of 3,974 head.
Click below to listen to an audio summary of this week’s report, including an interview with TSCRA’s Larry Gray.
The thefts include “cows, yearlings, heifers, calves – all mixtures,” he said.
One thing that makes cattle rustling easier for thieves is Texas law does not require branding of cattle, Gray said. And many producers, particularly those with smaller operations, do not have resources to brand their animals.
“Thieves love to prey on unbranded cattle. Many times they will pass up branded cattle in lieu of unbranded cattle, because they know they’re hard to identify.”
Gray said the U.S. Department of Agriculture will not approve implanting of cattle with electronic ID chips because of fears the chips will get into the food supply.
The most number of head stolen at one time is usually equal to how many the thieves can load in their cattle trailer, he said. But even the theft of one head will usually constitute a felony theft.
“With a 500-pound calf bringing $3 a pound, that’s $1,500,” Gray said. “And then you’ve got cows bringing from $2,000 to $3,000.”
The association offers a cash reward for information leading to the arrest and/or grand jury indictment of thieves, he said. The hotline number is 888-830-2333.
“Anonymity is guaranteed,” Gray said.
The association also has a list of cattle and rural crime theft prevention tips at http://bit.ly/1Mwtb6r.
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service district reporters compiled the following summaries:
Central: The region remained rainless, but soil moisture was mostly in fair condition. Crops and livestock were rated as good. Rangeland and pastures were also rated as fair, but were declining due to lack of moisture. The corn and grain sorghum harvests continued, with yields widely variable across the region. There were not many suitable days for fieldwork because of the heat. Pecans looked good. Producers continued cutting and baling hay.
Coastal Bend: Isolated showers in the afternoons brought a little relief from the high temperatures and dusty conditions. In most cases, the occasional afternoon showers were not heavy enough to shut down harvesting. The corn harvest was expected to be mostly completed this week. Cotton growers were beginning to defoliate, and harvesting was expected to begin within the next two weeks. Rice was being harvested. Sorghum yields varied, a result of the spread-out planting.However, some very good yields were recorded. Some producers were shredding weeds on rangeland and pastures due to the wet spring and their inability to spray earlier. Rangeland and pasture conditions continued to worsen.
East: The region remained hot and dry. All counties needed rain. Only a few counties reported topsoil and subsoil moisture as adequate. All others reported short to very short moisture. Pasture grasses were going dormant, and hay production slowed due to lack of growth. Many producers only got one cutting of hay this year. Producers in some areas may be short of winter hay if they don’t get one or two more cuttings by this fall. Producers in Trinity County were already buying hay. Creek and pond levels were dropping. The vegetable, blackberry and blueberry harvests were completed. Some farmers were preparing for fall planting. Livestock were in fair to good condition with some supplemental feeding being done. Sale barns reported good numbers and solid prices. The market was stronger on heavier steers and heifers. Cow-calf pairs ranged from $2,450 to $2,900. Beef producers were weaning and culling cows. Horn flies continued to be a problem. Grasshopper populations were rising. Feral hog movement increased.
Far West: Throughout the region, pastures and rangeland were in poor to good condition. For the most part, the region remained extremely hot and very dry, though a few areas did receive scattered showers. Subsoil and topsoil moisture ranged from adequate to short. Cotton was generally in fair condition and setting bolls. Corn and grain sorghum were also mostly in fair condition. Glasscock County cotton was beginning to suffer from the extremely high temperatures and lack of moisture. Dryland fields were reaching cutout, but shedding bolls and leaves due to the heat. Pastures were browning. Pastures and rangeland in Brewster and Jeff Davis counties were beginning to dry out. Cattle were in good condition, with stockers and calves still gaining well. El Paso County cotton was at full bloom and setting bolls. Pecan nuts were growing. Alfalfa growers completed their fourth cutting. Hudspeth County had scattered showers that surprised some farmers who had hay on the ground. Pecos County had recovered nicely from earlier hailstorm damage, and no yield reductions were expected. In Presidio County, some areas showed pockets of green, but overall pastures and rangeland were starting to turn brown. Upton County had a few spotty showers. Ranchers continued to provide supplemental feed to livestock and wildlife.
North: Topsoil moisture was short to very short. Temperatures were slightly cooler, with highs in the mid- to upper-90s. Parts of the region have gone 40 days straight without rain, but rain was forecast for the middle of this week. Soybeans were struggling from the hot, dry weather. Corn was mature and was beginning to be harvested in some areas. Grain sorghum was in fair condition, and sunflowers looked good too. Bermuda grass desperately needed rain and was going dormant in some areas. Hay production dropped. Livestock remained in good condition for this time of year. Pond levels were dropping. Most grain and forage sorghum had to be sprayed to control sugarcane aphids. Horn fly problems increased, and grasshopper populations were on the rise. Wild hogs continued to be a problem.
Panhandle: Much of the region received good soaking rains. Some southern parts of the region needed more moisture. Deaf Smith County producers were dealing with spider mites and Southwestern corn borer, as well as sugarcane aphids in grain sorghum. Where rain wasn’t received, irrigation pumps had to be restarted. Many crops were starting to mature, and silage was nearly ready for harvest. Producers were waiting to plant winter wheat because grasshopper numbers were still increasing. Producers who applied insecticides in hope of controlling the grasshoppers in corn and grain sorghum fields were seeing only limited success. Hay harvesting continued. Cotton was setting bolls at a good rate in the more southern counties of the region. Some dryland grain sorghum and cotton had spotty stands, but most fields were in good shape. Weeds were a problem in many areas. Pastures were in excellent condition, and cattle healthy. Wildlife were rebounding from the drought in the eastern part of the district.
Rolling Plains: Hot, dry weather continued, which accumulated heat units for cotton. Cotton plants were loaded with bolls, but rain was needed soon or the plants could start shedding fruit. Earlier rains had given rangeland and pasture grasses the moisture they needed to produce, but with dry weather, growth slowed down. If it remains dry for the next few weeks, there could be an outbreak of wildfires, especially in areas that have not been grazed off and have an abundance of dry fuel. Livestock were still in good condition, and ranchers needed only to provide small amounts of supplemental feed. Many producers began restocking herds by buying cattle or keeping heifers. Most producers had plenty of surface water. The pecan crop still looked good, but non-irrigated orchards needed moisture.
South: The region remained mostly hot and dry, with a few isolated showers. In the northern part of the region, soil moisture was short to very short. The corn and grain sorghum harvests were completed. Cotton was opening bolls. Peanuts were in good condition and setting pods under continued irrigation. In some areas, rangeland and pastures continued to decline due to the lack of rain. In McMullen County, rangeland and pastures were in fair shape. Ranchers were providing supplemental feed, with some ranchers weaning calves early. In the eastern part of the region, soil moisture was short in Duval and Jim Hogg counties. In Jim Wells, Kleberg and Kenedy counties, subsoil moisture was generally adequate, while topsoil moisture was 50 percent short. Harvesting of corn and sorghum crops planted by April 15 was complete in Jim Wells County, while later-planted grain and sorghum crops were just turning color. Cotton looked good throughout the eastern counties. In the western part of the region, non-grazed pastures remained in fair condition, but those that had been grazed were exhausted. Pecans looked good with no major insect pressure. Coastal Bermuda grass harvesting was good, with hay sales moving slowly. Cotton continued to progress well with the help of additional irrigation. Soil moisture was short to very short throughout the western counties. In the southern part of the region, extremely hot temperatures continued. About a third of Cameron County cotton was harvested. In Hidalgo County, cotton defoliation picked up momentum, as well as harvesting. In Starr County, hay baling continued, and fall vegetable planting preparations began. Cameron County had short soil moisture, while Hidalgo County subsoil and topsoil moisture was 100 percent adequate. Starr County soil moisture was mostly adequate. Cattle body condition scores were fair with no supplemental feeding.
South Plains: High daytime temperatures benefited cotton but stressed other crops. In Floyd County, cotton was finally blooming and setting bolls. Some began drying down and should be ready to cut in a week or so. Hale County received scattered showers, which benefited crops, but heat stress continued to take its toll on livestock. Bailey County also received scattered showers at the first of the week, but needed more as soil moisture was becoming depleted. Cochran County producers were irrigating. Cotton, peas, corn, peanuts, sunflowers and grain sorghum continued to mature. Hockley County received some moisture over the weekend, which gave dryland cotton a boost. Corn there was in good shape, and pastures benefitted from sporadic showers. Lubbock County had another week of hot weather, with highs of 100 degrees on Aug. 13 and Aug. 14. Only isolated areas of the county received showers, and rainfall thus far for August was 0.01 inch. Non-irrigated cotton and fields with limited irrigation reached cut-out. Non-irrigated sorghum planted late was under severe stress. Several grain sorghum fields exceeded the economic threshold for treating sugarcane aphids. In Garza County, irrigated cotton continued to progress well and more cotton began to bloom. Dryland cotton needed rain. Mitchell County cotton put on more bolls. The rangeland was declining. With high heat and low humidity, fire danger increased. Some Scurry County cotton needed rain 10 days ago and was struggling then.
Southeast: Soil moisture throughout the region was mostly adequate to short, with short being the most common. Rangeland and pasture were mostly rated fair to poor, with poor ratings being the most common. Walker County received scattered showers, but subsoil moisture was still a concern. Forage growth, production and harvest were greatly reduced. In Brazos County, the hot and dry conditions continued, but scattered thunderstorms were popping up in the evenings. Montgomery County had a few isolated showers in midweek. In Waller County, temperatures were in the triple-digits. Corn harvesting began. In Chambers County, the maturity of rice planting had been so spread out it was hard to get a good estimate of the crop’s current progress. There was a lot more organic rice planted this year, with most of it planted late. Fort Bend County got 1 inch to 2 inches of rain. The grain sorghum and corn harvests were nearly completed, and some producers expected to soon begin defoliating cotton. Livestock were in good condition. Galveston County continued to suffer drought conditions and record high heat.
Southwest: The region was hot and dry and in need of rain. The biggest concern was the high possibility of wildfire because of the dry conditions. Fire already had broken out in some areas and some burn bans remained in place. Some farmers were preparing to plant small grain in dry conditions, what’s known as “dusting in.” Cotton was starting to show significant signs of root rot in some areas. The grain sorghum and corn harvests were mostly finished, with mostly good yields. Problems with stomach worms in sheep and goats were ongoing. There was plenty of dry grass for livestock grazing.
West Central: Triple-digit temperatures continued throughout the region. The heat, along with high winds, was rapidly depleting soil moisture. A few areas received scattered showers near the end of the week. Crops were beginning to show signs of heat and moisture stress, but most fields remained in fair condition. Drought was taking a toll on cotton. Grain sorghum fields were being cut. Producers were able to get a second cutting of hay due to earlier summer rains and hoped to get a third. Grasshoppers continued to be an issue. Rangeland and pastures were also showing heat and moisture stress. The danger of wildfire continued to increase, and burn bans were reinstated. Pond and livestock tank levels were dropping. Livestock remained in fair to good condition.
TSCRA Special Ranger Brett Wellden reports thefts in northeast and southwest Oklahoma involving a total of 19 head of steers, 3 saddles, other tack and ranch equipment.
The saddles, tack and equipment were taken sometime between July 31 and Aug. 1 from a property near Cushing in Payne County, Okla. Missing are a high back Billy Cook saddle with bull hide cover around the seat, water pouch on the left rear billet and a heavy breast collar stamped S/S Ranch; a Billy cook trophy saddle with “Buzzard Arena” stamp, a padded seat and inside out fenders; a high back saddle with round skirting, and heavy breast collar stamped S/S Ranch; four bridles with reins and bits; two ring snaffle bits and one short shank snaffle; and a black 250 gallon water tank.
Wellden also reports the June or July theft of 9 head of mixed color yearling steers weighing approximately 750 pounds, each, from a property near Roosevelt in Kiowa County. The steers all had an MC brand on the right hip and multi-colored custom ear tags. Also stolen some time in June or July were 10 head of mainly black steers weighing approximately 350 to 450 pounds, each, from another property near Roosevelt in Kiowa County. These steers had a KM brand on the right hip and green ear tags.
If you have any information regarding these cases, please call Special Ranger Wellden at 405-586-9145. Anonymous tipsters may also call the Operation Cow Thief hotline at 888-830-2333. A cash reward is offered for information leading to an arrest and/or grand jury indictment. Anonymity is guaranteed.
TSCRA Special Ranger John Cummings, Dist. 5 in northeast Oklahoma, reports the shooting of a cow near Chelsea in Rogers County. The mature black cow weighed approximately 1100 pounds and was shot from a neighboring roadway some time between Aug. 8 and 9. If you have any information regarding this case, please call Special Ranger Cummings at 918-342-0888.
TSCRA Special Ranger Steve Martin, Dist. 30 in Far South Texas, reports 3 cases of stolen cattle totaling 25 head. On July 18 a thief or thieves cut the chain on a gate to steal 6 heifers from a property in Jim Wells County near the Ben Bolt area. The heifers are 3/4 Angus and 1/4 Brahman cross, 4 to 5 months bred and all are black, some with white spots. All the cattle are muley, or hornless, and weigh approximately 1000 pounds, each, and have red numbered ear tags in the left ear.
Some time on July 9 and thief or thieves made off with 17 head of cattle from a property near the Brooks-Duval County line. Missing are 6-year-old muley crossbred cows of various colors weighing 1000 pounds, each. An unknown number of calves may also be missing.
Two head of reddish brown Brangus cross calves are also missing from a property in Karnes County near the Dewitt County line. The calves weighed approximately 400 to 500 pounds, each.
If you have any information regarding these cases, please call Special Ranger Martin at 361-358-8851.
Sharon Nehring, also known as Sharon Jacoby, 57, of Freestone County, surrendered to authorities Tuesday and was charged with felony theft of livestock. TSCRA Special Ranger Jimmy Dickson and other law enforcement authorities searched for Nehring for several months after an investigation alleged Nehring had purchased thousands of dollars worth of lambs and goats with a worthless check from the Freestone County Fair in June 2014.
Nehring surrendered and was arrested on a $5,000 bond. TSCRA received many calls from concerned citizens and to Operation Cow Thief, an anonymous tipline that offers a cash reward for information leading to the arrest and/or grand jury indictment of thieves.
“The response from concerned citizens was tremendous and eventually led to the suspect surrendering and posting bond,” said Dickson. “I’m pleased TSCRA Operation Cattle Thief was able to help in this investigation and I greatly appreciate Freestone County Detective Clayton Aldrich and Freestone County District Attorney Chris Martin for their assistance in the arrest of the suspect. This case will now move forward to the criminal justice system.”
TSCRA Special Ranger Brett Wellden, Dist. 3 in Oklahoma, reports the recent theft of 19 head of cattle from Kiowa County properties in the southwest area of the state. Missing are 10 head of mostly black steers weighing approximately 350 to 400 pounds, each, with a KM brand on the right hip and green ear tags in the right ear. Also missing from a neighboring property are 9 black yearling steers weighing approximately 700 pounds, each, with an MC brand and numbered eartags. If you have any information regarding these cases, please call Special Ranger Wellden at 405-586-9145.
TSCRA Special Ranger Brent Mast, Dist. 22 in southeast Texas, reports 9 head of cattle missing from a property in Madison County. Missing are a red Beefmaster cow with a Circle C freeze brand on the left hip, 8 unbranded whiteface dunn or black cows and 5 or 6 red or dunn unbranded bull calves. If you have any information regarding this case, please call Special Ranger Mast at 936-851-0122
Levi Boyd, 36, of Camden, Ark., was sentenced to 10 years in prison Aug. 5 after he was found guilty on charges of stealing approximately 70 head of cattle and ranching equipment across Texas and Arkansas.
TSCRA Special Rangers Toney Hurley, Brent Mast, Hal Dumas, Marvin Wills and Larry Hand were involved in the investigation. Boyd’s arrest was connected to the arrest of Bradley Wayne Guthrey, 25, of North Little Rock, Ark. Guthrey is still awaiting trial.
Panola County Court Judge Terry D. Bailey sentenced Boyd to serve a term of 10 years incarceration in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) Institutional Division. Boyd was also ordered to pay restitution of $11,158.35 to the victim and $17,546.65 to a cattle auction’s insurance company.
“We are glad a strong sentence was handed down today,” said Hand. “I am pleased this cattle thief was held accountable for his actions and justice ultimately prevailed.”
TSCRA would like to thank Judge Bailey, Panola County District Attorney Danny Buck Davidson, the Panola County Sheriff’s Office and the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office for their assistance with this investigation.
TSCRA Special Ranger Hal Dumas, Dist. 21 in Texas, reports the theft of a utility vehicle and other equipment from a property in Robertson County. Taken on July 31 was a 2010 Kawasaki Mule 4×4, a Kobalt brand air compressor, a Poulan 16-inch chain saw and 18-inch bolt cutters. If you have any information regarding this theft, please call Special Ranger Dumas at 979-828-5832.
TSCRA Special Ranger Ben Eggleston, District 2, western Oklahoma and Texas Panhandle, reports that 13 crossbred and Hereford calves have gone missing, as of July 23, from a property at Cheyenne, Okla., in Roger Mills County. There was no sign of forced entry to the property. The calves were being weaned in pens next to a county road. If you have information regarding these calves, please call Special Ranger Eggleston at 806-852-4741.
TSCRA Special Ranger Tommy Charbula, District 24, Gulf Coast area, reports 12 Brangus and mixed color cows went missing from a property at Rosharon in northern Brazoria County after July 18. The thief or thieves cut the lock on the entry gate and removed the chain to enter the property. The cattle are branded with a KS on the left hip or a Circle K on the right shoulder.
If you have information regarding these missing cows, please contact Special Ranger Charbula at 361-782-5209.
TSCRA Special Ranger John Cummings, Dist. 5 in southeastern Oklahoma, reports the theft of a saddle and breast collar during a rodeo Saturday, July 31, in Idabel in McCurtain County. The items were stripped from a horse tied to a trailer. Stolen was a G BAR G natural leather barrel saddle with a 14 1/2 inch rough out seat, rounded skirts, dark brown buck stitching around the entire saddle and wooden stirrups. The saddle was custom made by Dennis George, Wyoming, and had serial number 207 on it in several locations. Also taken was a custom leather breast collar made by Martin Saddlery that was decorated with turquoise and rhinestones. If you have any information regarding this case, please call Special Ranger Cummings at 918 342-0888.
TSCRA Special Ranger Bart Perrier, Dist. 4 in northwestern Oklahoma, reports the Aug. 1 theft of a cow from a property near Talala in Washington County. Missing is a 4-year-old registered red roan shorthorn cow with the tattoo JS02 in the left ear and a white #43 ear tag. The cow is heavy bred and weighs approximately 1600 pounds. If you have any information regarding this theft, please call Special Ranger Perrier at 918-275-4257.
Cody J. Porter, 29, was arrested July 25 and charged with 4 counts of knowingly concealing stolen cattle at his home in Sperry, Okla. He is the suspected in a string of recent cattle thefts around Osage County.
TSCRA Special Ranger Bart Perrier and the Osage County Sheriff’s Department led the investigation. Perrier had been looking into a series of cattle thefts in the southern area of Osage County over the past several weeks. Three separate ranchers reported thefts of calves from their pastures.
Perrier received a call from the Osage County Sheriff’s Department and authorities stated that they were at Porter’s home in Sperry. Perrier drove to Porter’s home with Osage County Sheriff’s Deputy Jesse Brewer, where Perrier and Brewer conducted a follow-up investigation and noticed 14 head of young calves in a pen near the barn area.
According to Perrier, many of the calves matched the description of the calves missing from pastures in the Osage County area. Perrier said several of the calves had unique markings and were easily identifiable.
Based on the observations of Brewer and Perrier, a search warrant was obtained and further investigation resulted in the positive identification of 10 of the calves as stolen from 3 separate victims in the area between July 8 and July 23.
Porter was arrested and jailed in Osage County. He was arraigned in the Osage County District Court on 4 counts of knowingly concealing stolen property. His bond was set at $50,000.
This investigation and the identification of the remaining calves are ongoing, with additional charges possibly being filed in this case. Anyone with information about these crimes should contact Perrier, 918-275-4257 or the Osage County Sheriff’s Office.
“This case is a perfect example of two agencies cooperating and working together to recover stolen livestock and hold cattle thieves accountable for their actions,” said Perrier. “We will continue working on this case to seek justice for the ranchers who have become victims of cattle theft.”
TSCRA would like to thank Brewer, Chief Investigator Charlie Cartwright and Osage County Sheriff’s Deputies Clay Testerman and Joe Sherrell for their assistance.
TSCRA has named David Duncan, Fort Davis, as special ranger for District 18 in West Texas. Duncan has more than 40 years of law enforcement experience. Most recently, he worked as a TxDPS Texas Ranger as a staff lieutenant where he supervised Joint Operations and Intelligence Centers in Marfa, Del Rio and El Paso.
As a Texas Ranger, he also worked with state and local law enforcement agencies on border enforcement efforts. Additionally, Duncan has experience as a city police officer, sheriff’s deputy, highway patrolman and an auto theft investigator.
Duncan replaces TSCRA Special Ranger Mike Barr, who moved to District 26
“Dave has a wealth of background and knowledge in law enforcement,” said Larry Gray, TSCRA Executive Director of Law Enforcement and Theft Prevention. “He has already been serving TSCRA and ranchers in District 18 well by investigating and actively helping solve theft cases in his area. We are fortunate to have him working at TSCRA as a Special Ranger.”
District 18 includes: Brewster, Culberson, El Paso, Hudspeth, Jeff Davis, Pecos and Reeves counties. Duncan is based in Fort Davis and can be reached at 432-426-2703.
A Perrin, Texas man was arrested and charged with first degree felony theft of livestock of over $200,000 on Friday after stealing steers from a Nebraska rancher.TSCRA Special Ranger John Bradshaw led the investigation.
According to Bradshaw, a Nebraska-based cattle marketing agency had received an order from the victim to buy some steers. The agency contacted the suspect, Tony Eugene Lyon, 51, of Perrin, Texas, to supply the steers.
After the victim wrote a check to the marketing agency, Lyon received a check from the agency for $791,000. The victim then went to Lyon’s property in Perrin to look at the steers. It was decided that the cattle would be turned out on a wheat pasture and Lyon would take care of them until they could be shipped.
However, when the victim returned at a later date to check on the steers, Lyon told him he didn’t have them anymore and that he had to get rid of them to take care of some prior obligations.
Lyon was arrested, arraigned and charged with theft of livestock of over $200,000, a first degree felony. He is being held at the Jack County jail on a $1 million bond.
This is an ongoing investigation and more charges are expected to be filed, additional suspects identified, and more arrests could be made in this case.
A $500 reward has been offered through TSCRA’s Operation Cow Thief program for information leading to the arrest of Sharon Lynn Nehring, also known as Sharon Jacoby, of Freestone County. Nehring, 57, is alleged to have purchased thousands of dollars worth of lambs and goats with a worthless check from the Freestone County Fair in June of 2014. She is under indictment in Freestone County for the theft of property totaling $1,500 or more, but less than $20,000.
Anyone with further information should contact the Operation Cow Thief hotline at 888-830-2333 or call TSCRA Special Ranger Jimmy Dickson at 903-586-8733.
A cash reward of $500 may be paid to individuals who can provide useful information leading to the arrest and grand jury indictment of the suspect. Individuals reporting information may choose to remain anonymous.
TSCRA Special Ranger Doug Hutchison, Dist. 20 in the Texas Hill Country, reports the theft of two ATV vehicles and a trailer from a property in Fayette County. On July 18 a thief or thieves cut a lock to gain access and steal a bright green 2015 Yamaha Viking 4-seat ATV, VIN no. 5Y4AM76YXFA100857; a dark green 2011 Polaris Ranger 4-seat ATV, VIN no. 4XAWH50A0B4209217; and a black 2014 Texas Bragg brand single axle 12-foot flatbed trailer with full expanded metal rear ramp, VIN no. 17XFP1219E1042930, Texas license plate FJKL56. If you have any information regarding this case, please contact Special Ranger Hutchison at 512-863-2337.
Brett Wellden, a Guthrie, Okla. native, has joined TSCRA as a Special Ranger for District 3 in south-central Oklahoma. Wellden is a former Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) task force officer for the Oklahoma City district office with more than 20 years law enforcement experience.
“I am excited to welcome Brett to the TSCRA team, and I look forward to working with him.” said Larry Gray, TSCRA executive director of law enforcement and theft prevention. “Brett has a wealth of knowledge and experience in law enforcement. His good working relationships with the law enforcement community in Oklahoma and his knowledge of the livestock and ranching industries make him a tremendous asset to the Oklahoma district.”
District 3 includes the counties of Alfalfa, Blaine, Caddo, Canadian, Cleveland, Comanche, Custer, Dewey, Garfield, Garvin, Grady, Grant, Kingfisher, Kiowa, Logan, Major, McClain, Oklahoma, Stephens, Washita and Woods.
Besides the last 11 years Wellden spent assigned to the Oklahoma DEA District Office as a Task Force Officer, he previously worked as a patrol and bicycle officer and as an investigator in the Midwest City Police Department’s Special Investigations Unit.
Wellden has received numerous commendations and recognition for his service as a patrol officer and an investigator. He also announces rodeos across the U.S.
He is the husband of Shawn Wellden and the father of Chaisey, Garret and Carmyn Wellden.
“I am excited to serve Oklahoma ranchers and TSCRA in my new role as a special ranger,” said Wellden. “As we see livestock and equipment theft continue to rise, I believe I can play an active role in helping to seek justice for those who fall victim to these tasteless acts of crime.”
Wellden is based in Guthrie, Okla., and can be reached at 405-586-9145.
TSCRA Special RangerTommy Charbula, Dist. 24 along the Texas Coast reports the theft of a Kawasaki Mule, 16-foot flatbed trailer and a 60-gallon weed sprayer from a ranch near Damon in Brazoria County. Some time after July 2 a thief or thieves cut a lock on a chain to steal a 2006 Kawasaki Mule 13010, serial no. KAF620K6F; a 16-foot flatbed homemade trailer; and a 60-gallon SMA utility sprayer, serial no. 800utl60bl. If you have any information regarding this case, please all Special Ranger Charbula at 361-782-5209.
TSCRA Special Ranger John Cummings, Dist. 5 in northeast Oklahoma, reports the theft of 7 head of cattle stolen from a pasture near Broken Arrow in Tulsa County. Some time between July 19 and 20, a thief or thieves cut a chain on a padlocked gate to gain access to the pasture where they used the onsite corral to load 3 heavy-bred black Angus cross cows, 3 open/expossed black Angus cross cows and 1 black Angus cross bull calf weighing approximately 2oo pounds. All the cows had numbered orange ear tags. If you have any information regarding this case, please call Special Ranger Cummings at 918 342-0888.
TSCRA Special Ranger Toney Hurley, Dist. 12 in northeast Texas, reports 9 head of cows missing from a property south of Sulphur Springs in Hopkins County. The 8 head of black and 1 tiger stripe stocker cows went missing some time between July 20 and 21, the same day they were bought at the local livestock market. One of the black cows has a rocking A on the left hip. If you have any information on this case, please call Special Ranger Hurley at 903-945-3236.
Anonymous tipsters can always call the Operation Cow Thief hotline 24 hours a day at 888-830-2333 regarding any case of agricultural crime. A cash reward is offered for information leading to an arrest and/or grand jury indictment. Anonymity is guaranteed.
TSCRA Special Ranger Jimmy Dickson, District 14, East Texas, reports 15 calves are missing from a ranch in Van Zandt County. The calves are mostly black, weight 350 to 500 pounds each. Most of the calves are Brahman-influenced crossbreds. All of the calves had ear tags at the time of the theft.
TSCRA Special Ranger Bart Perrier, District 4, north central Oklahoma, reports 16 mature crossbred cows are missing from a property at Chelsea in Nowata County, Okla.
Apparently, no force was used to gain entry to the property. A wire gate securing the property was found open. The cattle are mostly Angus or Charolais cross. They have a brand on the left shoulder of 3 stacked bars and a single number, which indicate their birth year. The left ear of each cow has 2 notches on the bottom. If you have information regarding this theft, please contact Special Rangers Perrier at 918-275-4257.
TSCRA Special Ranger Larry Hand, District 13, northeast Texas, has received a report that 25 or more cattle are missing from land leased for pasture in Wood County. The lessee reports a good count of the cattle being grazed was done on May 6. On July 6, during the final round-up count, at least 11 cows and at least 14 calves were missing. The cows are mostly mixed colors of black, black baldy, red and tiger-stripe. They all carried a brand on the right hip in the design of a double J connected back to back forming what is sometimes called a fish hook. The large end of the brand faces the animal’s head.
Theweaning-age calves, of similar colors to the cows, were not branded, but had been ear notched. Steers had v-notches in the right ear, heifers were v-notched in the left ear.
If you have information regarding these missing cattle, please contact Special Ranger Hand at 903-592-5252.
Special Ranger Larry Hand reports 2 Limousin bulls, one black and one red, have gone missing from a property northeast of San Augustine in East Texas. The bulls were last seen June 1.
The bulls are described as:
Black bull, gentle, 20 months, 1,200 to 1,400 pounds, tattoo number DMAR61A, not branded, with a blue ear tag right ear and a 3-inch split in the left ear from injury
Red bull, gentle, 12 to 14 months, 700 to 800 pounds, no brands or tattoo
There was no forced entry to the property and the fences are in good shape. Hand reports an older model white 1-one truck with black steel bed and rusty white long stock trailer had been seen on property early one afternoon in June, near the radio tower and ranch corral.
If you have information regarding these missing cattle, please contact Special Ranger Hand at 903-592-5252.
TSCRA Special Ranger John Cummings, District 5, eastern Oklahoma, says a thief or thieves cut a barbed wire fence off a Mayes County, Okla., road to gain entry to a ranch near Strange between July 2 and 9. The thief or thieves drove their vehicle onto the ranch and stole parts from a John Deere 430 tractor.
2 front tires and yellow steel wheels
2 battery cables
Approximately 20 gallons of diesel fuel from the fuel tank
If you have information about this theft, please contact Special Ranger Cummings at 918-342-0888.
TSCRA Special Ranger John Cummings reports that on July 10, suspects cut 2 padlocks and removed the chains from gates on a ranch near Claremore, Rogers County, Okla. The gates were left open to a county roadway, the locks damaged and the chains are missing.
If you have any information about this incident, please contact Special Ranger Cummings at 918-342-0888.
TSCRA Special Ranger Bart Perrier, District 4, north central Oklahoma, reports the July 8 theft of a 2014 Red Rhino (Go-Bob) 40-foot, 8-bale hay trailer from a property at Fairfax in Osage County, Okla. The red trailer is a double-axel, single-wheel trailer. The serial number is GPGN 40814430.
The trailer had been stored in a pen and the gates had been secured with a chain and padlock. The thief or thieves cut a link in the chain to access the pen.
If you have any information on this theft, please contact Special Ranger Perrier at 918-275-4257.
TSCRA Special Ranger John Cummings, Dist. 5 in southern Oklahoma, reports a black or black baldy steer missing from a property near Springer in Carter County. Missing is a black or black baldy steer weighing approximately 800 pounds, with a blue ear tag and brand V X open A high on the right side. If you have any information regarding this case, please call Special Ranger Cummings at 918-342-0888.
TSCRA Special Ranger Ben Eggleston, Dist. 2 in the Texas Pandhandle, reports a stud colt missing from a property near Pampa in Grey County. The 11-day old chocolate and white paint Welsh colt went missing some time between July 2 and 4. The horse weighs approximately 40 pounds. If you have any information regarding this case, please call Special Ranger Eggleston at 806-852-4741.
Kiley Wayne Johnson, 19, of Henryetta, Okla., surrendered to authorities July 1 at the Okmulgee County Jail on 8 charges of larceny of livestock. The felony arrest warrant was issued by the Okmulgee County district court after an investigation revealed Johnson as a suspect in the case of 17 head of calves and 13 head of cows stolen from 5 victims around the Henryetta area.
According to TSCRA Special Ranger Bart Perrier, who led the multi-county investigation, during the fall of 2014, Johnson is alleged to have stolen the cattle and sold them at local livestock markets in Okmulgee, Checotah, Bristow and Hugo. Additional charges against Johnson and other accomplices are pending and more charges and arrests are expected.
Johnson’s bond was set at $200,000.
TSCRA would like to thank the Okmulgee County Sheriff’s Office and Detective Jeremy Wade with the Henryetta Police Department for their work and assistance during the investigation.
A Tennessee woman was arrested Thursday in Marion County, Tenn., by the Marion County Sheriff’s Department and investigators from the Tennessee Department of Agriculture on felony theft charges out of Falls County, Texas. Lydia N. Culp, 31, allegedly sold a barrel racing horse to a victim in Falls County, Texas, from a post on Facebook.
The horse that was shipped from Tennessee to Texas was misrepresented and arrived sick and malnourished. Culp was operating under numerous aliases and was alleged to be shipping horses that were misrepresented all over the U.S. Culp is currently in the Marion County Jail awaiting arraignment.
TSCRA Special Ranger Marvin Wills led the investigation with the assistance of the Falls County District Attorney’s Office. Wills warned that livestock is traded daily on the internet and social media.
“Livestock buyers should be aware that photographs and descriptions posted on internet transactions may be altered and misleading,” said Wills. “Buyers should get credible references from the people they are purchasing livestock from. People engaged in this type of criminal activity rarely use their true identity, thus making it difficult to prosecute them.”
Wills would like to thank the Marion County Tennessee Sheriff’s Department, Tennessee Department of Agriculture and the Tennessee Highway Patrol for their assistance in the case.
TSCRA Special Ranger John Cummings, Dist. 5 in eastern Oklahoma, reports 4 head of cattle missing from a pasture near Muskogee some time between June 9 and 22. Missing is a black 3-year old cow with a white star on forehead, a yellow ear tag and branded with a backward C lazy L connected on the right hip; a 9-year-old solid black cow with a yellow ear tag and branded with a backward C lazy L connected on the right hip; and two black calves weighing approximately 250 pounds, each, with no tags or brands. If you have any information regarding these cattle, please call Special Ranger Cummings at 918-342-0888.
TSCRA Special Ranger Scott Williamson, Dist. 8 along the southwest Oklahoma – northwest Texas border, reports the possible theft of a horse from a property near Hollis. Missing is an 8-year-old Foxtrotter paint gelding standing 14 1/2 hands tall, with no brands and a scar on the inside of his left leg. If you have any information regarding this case, please call Special Ranger Williamson at 940-889-2269.
Asher Quinn Hoxie, 38, of Stephenville, was arrested Tuesday and charged with misapplication of fiduciary property of more than $200,000 in a case involving the sale of 210 head of cattle and 30 horses owned by an Odessa rancher.
TSCRA Special Rangers Kenny Wadsworth and Wayne Goodman led the investigation, with assistance from TSCRA Special Ranger Harold Dempsey and the Erath County Sheriff’s Department.
According to Goodman, the victim had an injury that resulted in a life-threatening blood disease and was not expected to live. Hoxie and his wife told the rancher they would look after the man’s cows and horses while he was unable to care for them.
The investigation, which began in March, revealed that Hoxie is suspected of selling the victim’s cattle and horses in 2012 instead of taking care of them. The total added up to 210 head of cows and 30 horses, all valued at more than $200,000. Authorities are attempting to locate the animals.
Wadsworth arrested Hoxie Tuesday in Stephenville on a charge of misapplication of fiduciary property of over $200,000. Hoxie is being held on a $500,000 bond. More charges are expected to be filed on Hoxie and additional arrests are expected to be made as the investigation continues.
TSCRA would like to thank the Erath County Sheriff’s department for their assistance with this investigation.
“With the teamwork between TSCRA Special Rangers and local authorities, another thief was arrested,” said Goodman. “I appreciate the Erath County Sheriff’s Department for their assistance. I always encourage ranchers to brand their cattle and report suspicious activity taking place on their property to their local law enforcement as soon as possible.”
TSCRA Special Ranger Toney Hurley, Dist. 12 in northeast Texas, reports 11 head of cattle missing from a property southwest of DeKalb in Bowie County some time between June 12 and 13. Missing are 8 Corriente-longhorn cross roping steers of mixed colors weighing approximately 600 pounds, each; a 350-pound solid red calf; a 450-pound solid black bull calf; and a 500-pound brown calf. All these cattle have a KR brand on the left hip. If you have any information regarding these cattle, please contact Special Ranger Hurley at 903-945-3236.
TSCRA Special Ranger Marvin Wills, Dist. 15 in Central Texas, reports 6 head of cattle missing from a property hear Hamilton in Hamilton County. The 6 head of black Wagyu cows went missing some time between June 1 and 15 and have an L7 brand on the left hip. Two of the 6 cows will be wet, or lactating. If you have any information regarding this case, please call Special Ranger Wills at 254-865-2571.
James Anthony Manning, 30, and Dylan R. Robinson, 21, both of Coryell County, were charged with theft of livestock Monday in a case involving the theft of 2 bulls from a rancher south of Gatesville. TSCRA Special Ranger Marvin Wills led the investigation with assistance from the Coryell County Sheriff’s Department.
According to Wills, Manning and Robinson are suspects in the May 1 theft of bulls that strayed onto property neighboring a TSCRA member’s ranch in Gatesville.
The bulls were not branded, but they had very distinct marks that assisted with identification. They had been consigned and sold at an auction 80 miles away.
Wills arrested Manning on Monday on theft of livestock charges. He remains in the Coryell County Jail and is awaiting arraignment.
Robinson was already in the Coryell County Jail under a motion to revoke his probation from a theft case that Wills and the Coryell County Sheriff’s Department convicted Robinson on in 2011. Robinson is being held on a no-bond motion to revoke for the 2011 conviction.
TSCRA would like to thank the Coryell County Sheriff’s Department for their assistance with this investigation.
“While we were able to identify these bulls by their specific markings, this is not always the case,” said Wills. “It is important for ranchers to brand and keep an accurate count on their cattle. Following these precautions will help in the recovery of stolen livestock and serve as the best line of defense against cattle theft.”