Second Conviction in Carthage Cattle Theft Ring
Marshall, Texas – A Carthage, Texas woman was sentenced to 12 years in prison on Monday after pleading guilty to her involvement with 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 the defendant, Stacie Laine Soape, 44, of Carthage, Texas, after reviewing the joint investigation by Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA) Special Ranger Larry Hand and Harrison County Sheriff’s Investigator BJ Fletcher.
Soape stole the cattle along with three others involved in the theft ring. The first suspect, Michael Duane Nettles, 32 was sentenced to 35 years in prison on Feb. 18, 2016. The other two suspects, Alex Christopher Hinton, 36; and Elizabeth Ann Newton, 39 are out on bond and await trial in Harrison County.
Soape’s previous felony convictions enhanced her 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 (TDCJ).
Seven of the 12 head of cattle, three 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 should contact TSCRA’s Operation Cow Thief hotline at 888-830-2333 or call 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.”
For a photo of Soape, please visit http://www.tscra.org/images/mugshots/staciesoape.jpg..
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 139-year-old trade association and is the largest and oldest livestock organization based in Texas. TSCRA has more than 17,000 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.