Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA) Special Rangers Brett Wellden conducted the investigation.
In the late summer of 2015, Wellden received information about several cattle thefts in the Woods County area. Investigations were opened into each theft, but no suspects or viable leads were identified. In Oct. 2016 more information was received that led Wellden and Woods County Sheriff’s Deputies to a residence outside of Carmen, Okla.
Wellden and Woods County Undersheriff Keith Dale visited the residence where they spoke with an individual identified as a suspect in the cattle thefts. They discovered on the property a 2014 Ford F350 pickup truck and 2010 Cub Cadet lawn mower that had been previously stolen from Pottawatomie County. The suspect was taken into custody and the stolen property seized. Additional information was revealed that led the investigators to Kerry Long of Waynoka, Okla.
Wellden and Dale traveled to Long’s residence in Waynoka and observed a 2011 PJ Dump Trailer, which they also found to be stolen out of Pottawattamie County. The trailer was seized. Several days later, the investigators interviewed Long and learned that he owned property in Lyon County, Kan., which was subsequently visited. Wellden identified three branded cows stolen from Woods County in late 2015, which were then recovered by the Lyon County, Kan. Sheriffs Office. Criminal charges against long are still pending there.
Charges in connection to the stolen trailer were also filed against Long in Woods County, Okla. He was arrested last week and booked into the Woods County Jail.
“I would like to thank the Woods County Sheriff’s Office, especially Undersheriff Keith Dale and Deputy Chase Bouziden, for their assistance in the investigation as well as the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office in Kansas,” said Wellden. “It isn’t always a quick process, but ultimately we will prevail.”
The cattle theft investigation is ongoing, and additional charges and arrests are anticipated.
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 140-year-old trade association and is the largest and oldest livestock organization based in Texas. TSCRA has more than 17,500 beef cattle operations, ranching families and businesses as members. These members represent approximately 55,000 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.
For more TSCRA news releases, visit tscra.org.