A Sulphur Bluff, Texas man was arrested in Hopkins County today and charged with theft of livestock after failing to return 125-160 head of cattle he was grazing on his pasture back to the owner in West Texas.
Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA) Special Ranger Toney Hurley and Hopkins County investigators jointly conducted this investigation.
According to Hurley, the suspect, Lindy Wayne Shipley, 48, Sulphur Bluff, provided grazing land in northeast Texas to a West Texas rancher for the past two years. The suspect provided the grazing for approximately 250 head of cattle at $20 per head each month. When the owner of the cattle sent trucks to the grazing land between Sulphur Bluff and Saltillo to return them to West Texas, Shipley was over 100 head of cattle short of the original count. Hurley said authorities are unsure where the missing cattle are located and the investigation is ongoing.
Shipley was arrested by Hurley today at the Hopkins County Jail for theft of livestock over $150,000 and less than $300,000. His bond was set at $250,000 on the felony charge.
“It is common for ranchers located in West Texas to send cattle to northeast Texas for grazing due to lack of rain and grass,” said Hurley. “In this case, the suspect was not able to produce the entire total amount of cattle he was being paid to graze and oversee on his pasture. Additionally, the suspect didn’t have a good explanation on the location of the missing cattle.”
TSCRA would like to thank the Hopkins County investigations division for their work throughout this investigation.