Million-dollar cattle theft ring busted in Louisiana
Three people stand accused of stealing livestock valued at more than $1 million dollars from four Louisiana livestock markets.
Ricky Thompson, 68, and Wanda Thompson, 69, both of Pitkin, La., and their son, thirty-nine year old Justin Thompson of Hinston, La., are charged with six counts of theft of property having a value of $25,000 or more. Ricky and Wanda Thompson turned themselves in to the Allen Parish Jail following a grand jury indictment.
If convicted, the Thompson’s face extensive jail time. Bond was set at $60,000 each. Ricky and Wanda Thompson bonded out of Allen Parish Jail and investigators say they will be taken to Avoyelles Parish where they face the same charges.
Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry Brand Commission investigators say the thefts occurred between August and October 2017. Louisiana has 8 public livestock markets where producers can sell their livestock, and investigators say 4 of the 8 livestock markets were targeted by the Thompsons. Those sale barns are located in Allen, Avoyelles, East Baton Rouge and St. Landry parishes.
“The bottom line is — the cattle producers were protected and received their money from the sale barn. However, the Thompson’s never compensated the sale barn so these businesses suffered significant financial losses,” said Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M.
Additional warrants have been issued in East Baton Rouge and St. Landry parishes where the other livestock markets are located.