For Immediate Release: Sept. 27, 2011
Contact: Carmen Fenton, 512-469-0171
MUSKOGEE, OKLA. – Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA) Special Ranger John Cummings on Friday assisted in the arrest of Billy Chris Barnett, 25, Haskell, Okla., on 18 counts of larceny of livestock. Barnett was charged with allegedly stealing 18 head of cattle valued at $25,000 from a rancher in Muskogee County.
The cattle were recovered and returned to their owner.
Cummings said that the areas in and around Muskogee, Wagoner and Okmulgee counties have experienced several cattle thefts over the past few weeks, and at least 60 head of cattle have been stolen.
“Thieves in this area use onsite corrals to pen cattle in area pastures,” said Cummings. “They then come back later with a trailer to remove the cattle from the property. Anyone who senses suspicious activity on their property should call TSCRA.”
The investigation is ongoing. Cummings said additional charges are being sought for stolen equipment that was recovered including a stock trailer, flat-bed utility trailer and Dodge dually truck.
“We’ve had initial success with this investigation thanks to the hard work and dedication of several investigators and agencies,” said Cummings. “We anticipate additional charges and arrests to follow in the coming weeks.”
TSCRA would like to thank TSCRA Special Ranger Bart Perrier; Rae Lea Spears and Faye Banks, investigators with the Muskogee County Sheriff’s Office; Dustin Dorr, investigator with the Wagoner County Sheriff’s Office; and special agent Kent Dowell with the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture.
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.
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 75.9 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.