Jonathan Wesley Wright used counterfeit checks and ID to scam sellers in multiple states
Galveston, Texas — Jonathan Wesley Wright, or Trip McKenzie according to his fake driver’s license, said he’d turn himself in on December 9. Instead, he ran.
But exactly three months later, the 37-year-old was stopped when the U.S. Marshals arrested him in Galveston based on a warrant from Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association Special Ranger Wayne Goodman. He also had warrants in Parker County, Texas, in Oklahoma, Louisiana, and from the Texas Board of Pardons and Parole.
Wright wrote counterfeit checks bearing the name Superior Feeders LLC, Cuero, Texas, to purchase horses in Texas and Louisiana and a horse trailer in Tennessee. The property was recovered in December by Goodman and the Cimarron County (Oklahoma) Sheriff’s Department.
Goodman said it took a team of law enforcement agencies working together and is quick to credit the U.S. Marshals, the Louisiana Department of Agriculture investigators, and sheriff’s departments in Kendall County, Texas, Austin County, Texas, and Cimarron County, Oklahoma.
The special ranger said this case serves as a reminder that sellers can’t be too careful — especially when dealing in high-value property.
“I tell people all the time, ‘If you don’t know the buyer or if they will not let you hold the property till the check clears, I wouldn’t let them leave with it,’” Goodman said. “This goes for horses, cattle, trailers — anything. If the buyer won’t agree to those terms, then tell them bye.”
Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association’s special rangers are an elite group of law enforcement officers who have extensive knowledge of the cattle industry. While they primarily investigate cattle theft and other agricultural crimes, they are well-trained in all facets of law enforcement. In all, the association has 30 special rangers stationed throughout Texas and Oklahoma who are commissioned through the Texas Department of Public Safety or Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation.
The special rangers also oversee more than 80 market inspectors who collect data, such as brands and other identifying marks on about 5 million cattle sold at 100 Texas livestock markets each year. That information is entered into the association’s recording and retrieval system, which is a vital tool for law enforcement when investigating theft cases.