Carthage, Texas – A Texas woman was arrested Friday and charged with theft of Livestock after stealing one cow from a neighboring rancher in Panola County.
Panola County Constable of precincts 2 and 3, Mitch Norton led the investigation, with Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA) Special Rangers Larry Hand and Jimmy Dickson assisting.
The suspect, Stacie Laine Soape, 42, of Carthage, Texas was arrested Oct. 17 after a lengthy investigation. Norton received a tip on July 1 referencing one cow sold by a person who didn’t own cattle. After receiving the tip, Norton called Hand to assist with the investigation.
According to Hand, the unbranded cow was sold at an east Texas livestock auction on June 28 and was traced to a ranch in Cherokee County where it was eventually identified by the owner with a photograph.
“This cow wasn’t branded, however branding is a rancher’s best line of defense against cattle rustling,” said Hand. “Also, some do not realize many cattle thefts aren’t solved in the county in which the crime was committed. Once cattle are loaded onto a trailer, they become very mobile and can easily be carried to nearby counties or other states. This is when TSCRA Special Rangers play a vital role in helping solve livestock crimes.”
Other parties involved in this offense are expected to be referred to the Panola County Grand Jury by District Attorney Danny Buck Davidson.
TSCRA would like to thank the Panola County Sheriff’s Department for their assistance in this investigation.
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 137-year-old trade association and is the largest and oldest livestock organization based in Texas. TSCRA has more than 16,000 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.