Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association Special Ranger Bart Perrier led the investigation and TSCRA Special Ranger Troy McKinney assisted.
Perrier revealed that the suspect, Robert Don Covington, 34, was an employee of the Watkins Ranch at the time of the theft.
Covington stole three head of calves from the Watkins ranch on Sunday, March 22 and he transported them to Atoka, Okla., where they were sold the following day for $2,648.81. Covington then stole another two head of calves from the Watkins ranch on Saturday, March 28 and again transported them to the Atoka, Okla. where they sold for $1,466.93.
Covington had been arrested for unrelated charges and he is currently being held at the Marshall County jail in Madill, Okla. Covington was arraigned on Friday for the larceny of livestock charge and bond was set at $35,000.
Two of the stolen calves have been recovered. Authorities believe a second suspect was involved in at least one of the thefts. The investigation is ongoing and additional arrests and multiple charges in multiple counties are expected.
TSCRA would like to thank the Marshall County Sheriff’s Department Investigator David Barnes for his assistance in this investigation.
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 16,500 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.