QUITMAN, Texas —A five-month investigation by Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association Special Rangers and Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry Brand Inspectors resulted in a Louisiana man being jailed on three felony cattle theft charges out of Texas.
TSCRA Special Rangers Larry Hand and Bo Fox were reportedly in Louisiana Tuesday as LDAF brand inspectors arrested Justin Glenn Thompson, 40, of Hineston, Louisiana. Thompson was subsequently booked into the St. Landry Parish Jail, where he remains while awaiting extradition to Texas, according to TSCRA.
Special Ranger Hand was first contacted in February 2019 by a Wood County rancher, who alleged that a Louisiana-based cattle feeding operation owed him more than $91,000. By April, LDAF Brand Commission Agent Jessie Bellard and Manager Scott Perry were fully involved, and the case had allegedly grown into an intense, multi-state financial crimes investigation.
The victim had reportedly sold and purchased cattle through Thompson in his capacity as an agent for Strain Feeders of Abita Springs, Louisiana. The investigators soon uncovered evidence alleging that Thompson was using his position at the company to divert cattle and funds for his own benefit. They also believe he falsified information at the company to earn additional compensation, according to a press release from TSCRA.
After months of untangling the details, the case was taken to a Wood County Grand Jury, who Aug. 28, 2019, handed down three indictments against Thompson. Those charges are:
- Theft of cattle less than $150,000, for the theft of 84 head of cattle.
- Theft of cattle less than $150,000, for the theft of 16 head of cattle.
- Theft of property more than $2,500 but less than $30,000, for more than $18,000 in cattle payment shortages.
Warrants were issued Sept. 3, and Thompson was arrested the same day due to concerns that he could pose a flight risk, the TSCR release stats.
If convicted, Thompson could face 22 years in prison, up to $30,000 in fines and restitution to the victim.
According to a news release by LDAF, this is not Thompson’s first brush with the law. At the time of his arrest, he was free on bond in another cattle theft case under investigation by LDAF in Allen Parish. Additional investigations in both Texas and Louisiana are ongoing, and more charges are likely, according to TSCRA.
“I cannot overstate how important the partnership between TSCRA and LDAF was in this investigation,” said Hand. “If not for their collaboration, we may not have been able to resolve the case and bring Thompson to justice.”
TSCRA credits and officers thanks to TSCRA Special Rangers Larry Hand and Bo Fox, LDAF Brand Commission Inspectors Scott Perry and Jessie Bellard, and Wood County District Attorney Angela Albers and her staff for their “tremendous contributions to the investigation and subsequent indictments.”