SHELBY COUNTY, TEXAS (KMSS) — An East Texas man turned himself in to law enforcement officials Monday after authorities issued a theft of livestock warrant for his arrest.
Hollis Neel Farris, 53, a rancher and poultry producer, is accused of stealing a neighbor's stray bull and selling the animal at an area sale barn. He then pocketed the profits and denied ever seeing the bull to the victim, according to Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association spokesperson Laramie Adams.
Investigators were able to track down sales records, pinning the crime on Farris, who cooperated with officials when confronted. TSCRA Special Ranger Larry Hand was able to track the bull through four counties to a feeder cattle operation and identified the bull via distinct earmarks and sales records.
Farris was charged with felony theft of livestock and released on a $4,000 bond.
Hand assisted Shelby County Sheriff’s Department investigators Kevin Windham, DJ Dickerson and Constable Stanley Burgay in this investigation.
“This case is a good example of local law enforcement and TSCRA working closely together for the protection of ranchers,” said Hand.
Authorities advise ranchers to brand their livestock so they can be more easily tracked and identified if stolen. He also warns ranchers and the public that all stray cattle in Texas must be reported to their local sheriff’s department.