Cattle theft ring leader arrested

Jun 15, 2012
by WLJ
The final suspect of a four-person cattle theft ring is no longer on the run after turning himself in to Wise County authorities.

Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA) Special Ranger John Bradshaw investigated the case with Oklahoma Department of Agriculture Agent Michael Hooper.

Heath Berend Roe, 35, Decatur, was charged with cattle theft after allegedly stealing 25 head of cattle from a Decatur rancher in January 2011. He is the fourth and final suspect of a team of cattle thieves accused of stealing cattle and selling them at auction markets in Gainesville, TX, and Waurika, OK.

Dustan Fennell, 28, Decatur; his wife Alina Fennell, 32, Decatur; and Travis Walker, 28, Decatur, were arrested in April 2012. Dustan Fennell pleaded guilty and received six years in prison.

Bradshaw said the suspects could face up to 10 years in prison if convicted.

TSCRA is also working on a case in Oklahoma and is offering a $500 reward for information leading to the arrest or indictment of suspects involved with the killing and butchering of a calf in Rogers County, OK.

On May 27, rancher Rob Bacon discovered one of his calves skinned and butchered on the east side of County Road 4200, a quarter-mile south of 300 Road, six miles northwest of Chelsea.

Authorities believe the calf was dragged through a barbed wire fence then killed and butchered in the middle of the roadway.

This is the third calf butchered in the area in the past six months, said TSCRA Special Ranger John Cummings. Anyone with information is asked to call TSCRA’s Operation Cow Thief hotline at 888-830- 2333. — WLJ