PURCELL, Okla. - C.T. Stallings has run the livestock auction in Purcell for more than four decades.
Friday night, when a couple brought in seven head of cattle, he sensed something was off. For one, the cattle were a better quality than he normally sees at his small operation.
"The cattle were absolutely out of this world,” Stallings said.
After the couple left and he got the cattle in the barn, he knew something was wrong.
"When they went under the light, I saw the brand on them and I knew immediately the cattle was stolen,” Stallings said.
The cattle were branded with FC, which stands for Floyd Cattle.
And, Stallings has been friends with Glenn Floyd for a long time. He immediately called him.
"I know my cattle pretty well, even though I'm not with them every minute,” Floyd said.
Floyd went down and saw, sure enough, they were his cows, stolen from his ranch in Elmore City. They contacted officials with the Department of Agriculture who immediately launched into action.
"That was totally a setup undercover operation that we did and a sting basically, and it worked,” said Col. Jerry Flowers, chief agent of Investigative Services at the Department of Agriculture.
Flowers went undercover behind the desk of the sale barn and, when the woman came to collect her $7500 check, he was ready.
"When the clerk handed her the check for the sale of the cattle, I took her into custody and arrested her right there on the spot,” Flowers said.
Both Madeline Draughon and Austin Temple were arrested. Authorities said they confessed to stealing the cattle.
And, perhaps even more disturbing, they had a 6-month-old baby in the truck with them at the time of their arrest.
The couple had told Flowers they were trying to get enough money to leave Oklahoma and go to Arizona.
"They were fixing to haul that kid across the country, and no telling what else they were going to do being desperate for money,” Flowers said.
The couple faces potential charges of not only theft but child endangerment, as well.