FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Sept. 18, 2015
CONTACT: Laramie Adams
Nacogdoches, Texas – A fourth suspect was arrested and charged with theft of livestock on Sept. 11 after working with three other suspects to steal four cows from Pct. 3 Justice of the Peace Jackie Risinger of Mt. Enterprise, Texas.
Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA) Special Ranger Larry Hand led the investigation. TSCRA Special Ranger Jimmy Dickson and TSCRA Market Inspector Mike Miller assisted.
According to Hand, the suspect Christian Rhuns Collins, 27, along with the other suspects, Gwivonna Long Jr., Charlie Divonne Long and Jovante Duran Fields, all Nacogdoches, Texas natives, were involved in the cattle theft that occurred in Oct. 2014. Collins was arrested Friday, Sept. 11 and the other suspects were arrested earlier this year.
Hand said that Risinger left his pasture and locked the gate late on Oct. 23, 2014, and he arrived the following morning to find the gate chain had been cut. He immediately realized that four grown cows were missing and one calf remained in the pasture.
Risinger contacted Hand and the Rusk County Sheriff’s Office. Hand promptly traveled to the scene of the crime and alerted neighboring TSCRA Special Rangers and market inspectors. Miller was able to locate the four stolen heifers at the Athens Livestock sale barn.
The investigation revealed that the four suspects delivered the cattle to the livestock barn and they sold the next day. The check was cashed for $7,647.20, and it was divided among the four suspects.
Authorities were able to identify the cattle sold indeed belonged to Risinger by visual inspection and by bringing the orphaned calf to the cattle where it immediately began nursing one of the stolen cows.
Collins and Fields are both being held at the Rusk County Jail on two $75,000 bonds. Gwivonna Long pled guilty and was sentenced to two years in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ). Charlie Long is out on a $75,000 bond.
TSCRA would like to thank the Rusk County Sheriff’s Sgt. Ben Reynolds, the Rusk County District Attorney’s Office, the Nacogdoches Sheriff’s Office, the Navarro County Sheriff’s Office and the Athens Livestock Commission Company for their diligent work and assistance in this investigation.
“This case is a great example of TSCRA Special Rangers working closely with local and surrounding law enforcement officers to seek justice for ranchers who have become victims of cattle theft,” said Hand. “It shows the importance of keeping an accurate count on your cattle and immediately contacting law enforcement when something suspicious occurs on your property. I always encourage ranchers to lock their gates, brand cattle and keep a close watch over livestock and equipment. Taking these precautions can really pay off.”
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.