From the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association:
QUITMAN, TX - Members of an East Texas family have been formally charged with engaging in organized criminal activity after Wood County authorities discovered stolen equipment at their home near Winnsboro.
Jason Shane Anders, 38, turned himself in to authorities Wednesday after he was charged with one count of engaging in organized criminal activity and one count of felony livestock theft. He was released Wednesday on bonds totaling $40,000. His son, Dylan Anders, 18, turned himself in Sunday on one charge of organized criminal activity. He was released on a $10,000 bond.
Authorities expect a third suspect to be charged.
According to Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association Special Ranger Larry Hand, Jason Anders is the prime suspect of an investigation regarding 17 head of stolen heifers from a Wood County ranch in March 2013. TSCRA sent out a crime watch alert asking for the public to provide any information on the stolen cattle.
On May 10, 2013, authorities went to interview Anders at this home. They discovered stolen property as well as ear tags identified as those from the stolen heifers. Hand was able to track down 2 of the stolen heifers which were identified by their brand.
According to Hand, a string of cattle thefts in East Texas has ranchers on high alert.
"We are investigating other cattle thefts in the area to determine if Anders is possibly involved," said Hand. "I encourage ranchers to brand their cattle, because, as seen here, the best way to track and identify stolen cattle is with a brand."
The investigation was a collaboration between TSCRA, the Wood County Sheriff's Office and the East Texas Auto Theft Task Force.
If convicted, each suspect could spend up to 10 years in jail and be faced with a $10,000 fine on each felony charge.
Saturday, July 26 2014 2:09 PM EDT2014-07-26 18:09:07 GMT
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