HENDERSON, TEXAS - Three East Texas suspects were arrested Thursday for theft of livestock after allegedly stealing two head of cattle from a pasture near Reklaw.
John Frederick Hinds II, 26, Reklaw; his wife, Kellie Dawn Hinds, 22, Reklaw; and Bobby Addrian Askew, 24, Jacksonville; were admittedly high on methamphetamine at the time of the theft.
The suspects hired a commercial hauler to transport the cattle to a livestock auction barn in East Texas. Livestock company employees immediately saw multiple signs of possible theft and reported it. The cattle were later identified as stolen and returned to the owners.
"These cattle were quickly identified and returned to their owners because employees at the livestock market stepped forward and voiced concerns they had about the sellers," said Larry Hand, Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA) special ranger. "Thanks to the collaboration between TSCRA and sheriff deputies, we were able to track down the suspects and take them into custody."
Hand advises ranchers to brand their cattle and count them regularly, especially now that cattle prices are at record highs.
Hand led the investigation in cooperation with deputies from the Panola and Rusk County sheriff departments, the Rusk County district attorney's office, TSCRA Market Inspector Pat McGuigan and TSCRA Special Ranger Jimmy Dickson.
Cattle theft of less than 10 head is a third degree felony. If convicted,each suspect could receive 2 to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.
John Hinds bonded out Thursday on a $7,500 bond. As of press time, Kellie Hinds remained in custody at the Rusk County jail on a $7,500 bond. Askew remained in custody at the Cherokee County jail on a $20,000 bond.
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.
From Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association