TSCRA Special Rangers today announced the indictment of John Russell Baird, 44, of Amarillo, and Israel Tapia, 41, of Muleshoe, on felony theft charges. The indictments and arrest are the result of an investigation led by TSCRA Special Ranger Dean Bohannon.
In April, Bohannon was contacted by Frontera Feedyard in Muleshoe who alleged that an employee had stolen multiple bottles of Draxxin, an antibiotic used to treat sick cattle. The victim identified Baird as the culprit and noted that each bottle of stolen medicine was worth approximately $1,700.
Bohannon initiated an investigation with assistance from the Bailey County Sheriff’s Office and visited Baird at Frontera Feedyard, where he agreed to an interview with investigators. In the subsequent interview at the Muleshoe Police Department, Baird admitted to taking the medication and identified Tapia as a co-conspirator.
The evidence against both men was presented to a Bailey County grand jury, who indicted Baird and Tapia on June 6, 2018. Both now face charges of felony theft. If convicted, each could spend up to two years in prison and pay fines up to $10,000. As of writing the suspects were not yet in custody.
“Recently we have seen more and more agricultural thefts perpetrated by employees who take advantage of easy access to steal their employer’s cattle, supplies or equipment,” said Bohannon. His message is simple, “it doesn’t matter how or from whom you steal, rest assured we will track you down and put you in prison.”
TSCRA and Bohannon would like to thank the Bailey County Sheriff’s Office, Muleshoe Police Department and Bailey County District Attorney’s Office for their assistance in the case.