For Immediate Release: March 22, 2011
Contact: Carmen Fenton, 512-469-0171
WEATHERFORD, TEXAS – An investigation sparked by Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA) Market Inspector Ken Massey led to the arrest of two Weatherford cattle thieves Thursday, March 17.
The joint investigation involved TSCRA Special Rangers H.D. Brittain, Marvin Wills, Joe Roberts, Ken Miniard and the Parker County Sheriff’s Office.
According to Brittain, Massey was inspecting cattle at a Waco sale barn when he observed several head of cattle were not paired as they had been reported by the seller. When questioned about it, the seller would not claim the cattle, left the premises and abandoned the cattle and a check for the sale.
The cattle, which were reported stolen, were traced back to the owner in Springtown.
Parker County investigators and TSCRA special rangers conducted an extensive investigation that led them to the suspects identified as Kathy Schmidt, 31, and James W. Meeks, 26.
According to Parker County investigators, the suspects were also involved in several area burglaries and other livestock theft cases. Warrants were obtained for the suspect’s property. A search revealed several items including a four wheeler, two gooseneck stock trailers, power tools and two trucks which investigators and special rangers believe were either stolen or used in the commission of the crimes. The items were collected as evidence.
“We cleared nearly a dozen cases with this investigation,” said Brittain. “We wouldn’t have been able to do so if it were not for the sharp investigation skills of Inspector Massey, the help of the Parker County Sheriff’s investigators and the Parker County District Attorney’s Office.”
TSCRA has 29 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 market inspectors aid the Special Rangers by collecting brands and other identifying marks on 4 to 5 million cattle sold at 115 Texas livestock markets each year.
Market inspectors report their findings to TSCRA’s Fort Worth headquarters, where the information is entered into the nation’s largest brand recording and retrieval system. This database is the first source checked when a special ranger receives a theft call.
The Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association is a 134-year-old trade organization. As the largest and oldest livestock association in Texas, TSCRA represents more than 15,000 beef cattle producers, ranching families and businesses who manage approximately 4 million head of cattle on 51.5 million acres of range and pasture land, primarily in Texas and Oklahoma. TSCRA provides law enforcement and livestock inspection services, legislative and regulatory advocacy, industry news and information, insurance services and educational opportunities for its members and the industry.
For further information and pictures regarding the suspects, visit www.parkercountytx.com.
The Parker County Sheriff’s Office contributed to this release.