The Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA) Special Rangers have identified a duo after cattle antibiotics were stolen from a Texas feedyard. John Russell Baird, 44, of Amarillo, and Israel Tapia, 41, of Muleshoe have been indicted on felony theft charges.
The indictments are the result of an investigation led by TSCRA Special Ranger Dean Bohannon. In April, Bohannon was contacted by Frontera Feedyard in Muleshoe, who alleged that an employee had stolen multiple bottles of Draxxin, an antibiotic used to treat sick cattle. The victim identified Baird as the culprit and noted that each bottle of stolen medicine was worth approximately $1,700.
Bohannon immediately initiated an investigation along with assistance from the Bailey County Sheriff’s Office. Soon after Bohannon visited Baird at Frontera Feedyard where he agreed to an interview with investigators. In the subsequent interview at the Muleshoe Police Department, Baird admitted to taking the cattle antibiotics and identified Tapia as a co-conspirator.
The evidence against both men was presented to a Bailey County grand jury, who indicted Baird and Tapia last week. Both now face charges of felony theft. If convicted each could spend up to two years in prison and pay fines up to $10,000.
Tapia turned himself in on Monday and bonded out of the jail. Baird has not been arrested yet, but is formally charged the same as Tapia.
“Recently we have seen more and more agricultural thefts perpetrated by employees who take advantage of easy access to steal their employer’s cattle, supplies, or equipment,” said Bohannon.
His message to would be miscreants is simple, “it doesn’t matter how or from whom you steal, rest assured we will track you down and put you in prison.”
TSCRA and Bohannon would like to thank the Bailey County Sheriff’s Office, Muleshoe Police Department, and Bailey County District Attorney’s Office for their assistance in the case.