FORT WORTH, Texas — The Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA) announced staffing changes for the association’s law enforcement presence in South Texas.
Earlier this year, Special Ranger and regional supervisor Sonny Seewald announced his retirement, prompting a search for his replacement. The search culminated with the promotion of Special Ranger Gary Baros and the hiring of retired Texas Ranger James Bennett.
Baros, a 42-year TSCRA veteran was promoted to fill the regional supervisor position vacated by Seewald. He will oversee 41 counties in South Texas, including DeWitt County where he is stationed.
Baros was a natural fit to take on the role of regional supervisor. He was a brand inspector for 23 years before becoming a Special Ranger. Throughout his career, he has demonstrated outstanding criminal investigation skills and a strong commitment to the association. His brand inspection experience will also be extremely valuable to the livestock auction markets within his region.
James Bennett was hired to fill the District 27 vacancy.
Bennett retired as a Texas Ranger after serving 26 years with Texas Department of Public Safety. He and TSCRA’s Special Rangers have enjoyed a close working relationship throughout his tenure as a Texas Ranger. He has extensive livestock and ranching experience in addition to a lifetime of experience in criminal investigations that will be invaluable to TSCRA, making him uniquely suited to take on his new role.
Bennett, a native of Bee County, will be based in Live Oak County. His district will cover six counties: Atascosa, Bexar, Duval, Live Oak, McMullen, Wilson.
Also joining the TSCRA Special Ranger ranks in South Texas is Joe Aguilar Jr. Aguilar brings 15 years of law enforcement experience as a detective for the Mission Police Department. He is well qualified for the position. In additional to his extensive law enforcement experience, the South Texas native has a lifetime of agriculture involvement.
Aguilar will be based in Hidalgo County. His district will cover seven counties: Cameron, Hidalgo, Jim Hogg, Starr, Webb, Willacy, Zapata.
TSCRA’s Special Rangers are an elite group of law enforcement officers who have extensive knowledge of the cattle industry and primarily investigate cattle theft and other agricultural crimes, though they are well-trained in all facets of law enforcement. In all, TSCRA has 30 Special Rangers stationed throughout Texas and Oklahoma who are commissioned through the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) or Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI).
The Special Rangers also oversee more than 80 TSCRA market inspectors who collect data, such as brands and other identifying marks on 4 to 5 million cattle sold at 100 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. The database is a vital tool for law enforcement when investigating theft cases.
For contact information or to find Special Rangers in other counties, please visit tscra.org and click “Find Your Special Ranger.”