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Agriculture Today

Three thieves charged, sentenced for $470K in cattle thefts

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October 5, 2011 | 2,933 views | Post a comment

A Waco man charged with three counts of third-degree felony cattle theft turned himself in to authorities Sept. 16 at the McLennan County jail, according to data in a Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association’s press releases.

Trenton Dale Saulters, 26, was charged with stealing cattle from auction barns and individuals in Erath, Gillespie, Rains, and Johnson counties worth an estimated $165,000.

Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association Special Rangers H.D. Brittain, Max Hartmann, and Marvin Wills sent out alerts Sept. 15, notifying anyone who had information regarding Saulters’ whereabouts to contact the Operation Cow Thief Hotline.

Saulters is currently being held in the McLennan County jail on a $70,000 bond on three counts of theft in Rains, Erath, and Gillespie counties.

He was previously charged on three counts of theft in Johnson County and was out on a $110,000 bond when he turned himself in.

All total, Saulters has been charged with six counts of felony theft for a total of $180,000 in bonds.

As Saulters turned himself in, two other men were either found guilty or sentenced with cattle theft totaling more than $315,000.

Michael Bradberry, a 52-year-old Cherokee County man, was found guilty of first-degree felony theft Aug. 25 by a Cherokee County jury.

Bradberry was arrested in February 2009 by Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association Special Ranger Jimmy Dickson after it was discovered that he stole more than $100,000 of cattle and money from his employer.

The penalty was enhanced to a first-degree felony because Bradberry had a prior conviction.

Sentencing was set for Sept. 7. Bradberry could receive up to life in prison.

Carl Wade Curry, 44, of Henderson County was sentence to 99 years in prison and a $10,000 fine for cattle theft by a Hardeman County jury on Aug. 24.

Curry, 44, was convicted of stealing 421 head of cattle in Mississippi worth more than $215,000.

Curry was arrested in April 2010 by Special Rangers Scott Williamson and Marvin Wills after he created a fraudulent identity and purchased cattle. He laundered the cattle across multiple state lines. At one time, they were held in Hardeman County, where charges were filed.

Curry has been sentenced to 20 years in prison on prior cattle theft charges. District Judge Dan Mike Byrd stacked the 99-year sentence with his 20-year sentence.

Trials are still pending on two cattle theft charges in Louisiana and five more in Texas.

The Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association 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.

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