A Louisiana couple and their son have been charged in an extensive cattle rustling ring, stealing livestock valued at more than $1 million dollars.
Sixty-eight-year old Ricky Thompson and 69-year-old Wanda Thompson of Pitkin are charged with six counts of theft of property having a value of $25,000 or more.
Ricky and Wanda turned themselves in to the Allen Parish Jail on Friday following a grand jury indictment. Thirty-nine year old Justin Thompson, who is the son of Ricky and Wanda Thompson, has not turned himself in at this time.
Investigators with the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF) Brand Commission say the thefts occurred between August and October 2017. The initial indictment in the cattle rustling case involved a livestock market in Allen Parish.
Louisiana has eight public livestock markets where producers can sell their livestock. Investigators say four of the eight livestock markets were targeted by the Thompsons.
“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.
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. Investigators say they will be taken to Avoyelles Parish where they face the same charges.
Additional warrants have been issued in East Baton Rouge and St. Landry parishes where the other livestock markets are located.