A fifth suspect in northeast Texas cattle theft ring was arrested April 4 on charges of organized criminal activity. The men are accused of participating in a string of cattle thefts in Delta and Fannin counties in March 2014. Charles Damon Williams, 35, of Cooper, was arrested Friday. Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA) Special Rangers Toney Hurley and Troy McKinney led the investigation.
Previously arrested were Jonathan Jones, 20, of Cooper, on March 24; John Green, 43, of Klondike, on March 26; James Shaffer, 60, Terrell, on April 2; and Terry Wynne, 51, Terrell, on April 2.
On March 18, authorities in Delta County received a call from a neighbor who witnessed a suspicious vehicle and trailer leaving one of the victims’ property. The witness was able to obtain a license plate number, which led authorities to the suspects.
According to Hurley, as many as 26 head of cattle were stolen from five victims in Delta County and 10 head from two victims in Fannin county. Hurley and McKinney were able to recover 32 of 36 head and return them to their proper owners.
"This is a prime example of neighbors looking out for neighbors, which isn’t unusual in the ranching community," said Hurley. "Because we were able to obtain information quickly from the neighbor and work with both the Delta and Fannin County Sheriff’s Offices, we were able to track down the stolen livestock and return most of them to the different victims."
Hurley says that investigations are continuing, and authorities expect more arrests. All suspects with the exception of Green have bonded out. Green is still in custody in Fannin County on a $105,000 bond. Once he bonds out he’ll be transferred to Delta County on more charges.
TSCRA would like to thank the Delta, Fannin, Hopkins and Hunt County Sheriff’s Departments, as well as Texas Ranger John Vance for their assistance with the investigation.
Source: Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association