A Texas cattle hauler has been arrested after authorities determined he didn’t deliver his load, but instead sold the 39 head under his own name. Walter Max Madsen, 43, of Amarillo, has been indicted on charges of theft of livestock, a third-degree felony.
His indictment and arrest are the result of an investigation by Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association Special Ranger Harold Dempsey. In February, Dempsey was contacted by an employee of a cattle company based in Chandler, Arizona. The employee stated that in December 2017 the company had purchased 39 head of cattle at a nearby livestock auction. They then arranged for the cattle to be transported to a processor in San Angelo, but alleged that the truck driver, Madsen, had instead taken the cattle to a Hereford meat packer, where he sold them under his own name. The cattle were worth more than $23,000.
He was eventually able to obtain evidence from the victim, auction market, and packing plant, all corroborating the victim’s account. Dempsey then presented the evidence to the Deaf Smith County District Attorney’s Office who obtained an arrest warrant for Madsen. The warrant was served on May 21. Madsen was arrested, booked into the Potter County Detention Center, and subsequently released on a $5,000 bond.
A Deaf Smith County grand jury indicted Madsen on June 6. If convicted, he faces up to 10 years in prison as well as possible fines and restitution.
“Unfortunately, we investigate many cases in which folks are victimized by people they know and do business with,” said Dempsey. “It is important to remain vigilant and keep detailed records to ensure you are protected if it happens to you.”