OKLAHOMA CITY - Investigators said a couple stole 17 head of cattle from a ranch in Kansas, taking them to the Stockyards in Oklahoma City.
Chief Agent Jerry Flowers got a call earlier this week that a couple was trying to sell stolen cattle.
Anthony Whittley and Jasmine Boone allegedly nabbed the cows from a pasture in Kansas.
An affidavit shows the couple admitted they loaded the cattle into a trailer. They were on their way to Choctaw when they allegedly noticed the cows penned up.
“The folks there at the sale barn called me; they had recognized one of the brands on one head of the livestock - a brand they knew belonged to a livestock owner out in Kansas,” Flowers said.
Flowers and his crew raced to the stockyards in hopes of catching the alleged thieves in the act.
“We allowed the cattle to go ahead and go through the ring to appear that they were being sold just in the event that these two outlaws were sitting there in the ring watching to see if the cattle came through,” Flowers said.
The stolen cattle were sold for nearly $11,000, and Whittley and Boone asked for the sale to be split into two separate checks.
“My agents and I kind of hid in a backroom right off the main office in National and, as soon as the man and woman walked in to claim that check, we simply stepped out from behind the counter, identifying ourselves as special agents here with the department of agriculture; immediately, we arrested both of these individuals,” Flowers said.
Whittley allegedly confessed to stealing more than 100 head of cattle in the past several months and collecting about $80,000.
Investigators said branding your cattle is the best way of keeping track of your livestock.
The couple faces charges in multiple states.
Flowers said he believes the suspects are also responsible for cattle thefts in Missouri.