Stilwell, Okla. – An eastern Oklahoma man pleaded no contest to the charge of felony larceny of cattle Tuesday after stealing and selling four heifers from an Adair County, Okla. rancher. Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA) Special Ranger Bart Perrier led the investigation.
According to Perrier, the suspect, Jay David Fuson, 25, of Stilwell, Okla. was convicted after he reportedly stole four heifers on Sept. 19, 2014 from the victim, a rancher near Christie, Okla. Fuson stole the heifers out of 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 two different subject’s names.
The victim was attending the livestock sale when his cattle were being sold and he was able to stop the sale, identify and recover three of the four heifers that were being sold. All of the heifers were ear notched, which aided in their identification and recovery. The three 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 five 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.
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 138-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.