For Immediate Release: July 11, 2011
Contact: Carmen Fenton, 512-469-0171
TULIA, TEXAS – The third suspect in a 2008 cattle theft case pleaded guilty Friday to 2 counts of felony livestock theft.
Gabriel Aleman, 31 of Victorville, Calif., received 3 years deferred adjudication, a $1,000 fine, and was ordered to pay $3,900 in restitution to 4 ranchers in Swisher County.
In February 2008, Aleman, and two other men, brothers Joshua Andrew Richardson, 30, and Steven Paul Richardson, 35, both of Victorville, Calif., stole approximately 40 head of cattle from 4 ranchers in Swisher County. At the time of the theft, the men were living in Tulia.
TSCRA Special Ranger Dean Bohannon arrested the 2 brothers in 2008. They were charged with felony livestock theft, but fled along with Aleman after making bond in 2008. Further investigations revealed that Aleman was also involved in the thefts. All 3 men were arrested in November 2010 in California after receiving a traffic violation.
In June 2011, Joshua and Steve Richardson were sentenced to 2 years in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ).
Bohannon says the sentence is a strong one for first-time offenders and credits Swisher County District Attorney Mike Criswell with securing the stronger penalty.
“These guys have been on the run for a long time and we were pleased to see that they received a stiff penalty,” said Bohannon.
Bohannon was assisted by Swisher County Sheriff Emmitt Benavidez and Clint Hunt, game warden for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.
TSCRA has 29 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.
The Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association is a 134-year-old trade organization. As the largest and oldest livestock association in Texas, TSCRA represents more than 15,000 beef cattle producers, ranching families and businesses who manage approximately 4 million head of cattle on 75.9 million acres of range and pasture land, primarily in Texas and Oklahoma. TSCRA provides law enforcement and livestock inspection services, legislative and regulatory advocacy, industry news and information, insurance services and educational opportunities for its members and the industry.