OKLAHOMA CO., Okla. - A search for stolen farm equipment led to a multi-agency effort yielding far more than what they planned for.
Randall Templett and Michael Aumann now face charges after investigators with Pottawatomie County, Lincoln County, and Oklahoma County searched the Aumann Acres RV Park in the the 3000th block of Interstate 35 Service Road.
"While here on the premise, we also were able to discover other activities that were going on that required our attention," explained Mark Opgrande with the Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office.
Opgrande explained officials found a tractor connected to the initial investigation, but they also found several guns, safes, and cash. He says the raid was stalled due to an exotic pet on the property.
"There was a bobcat," he explained. "We needed to have the bobcat out of there, it was very aggressive toward the wildlife officials called in to take possession of it. I believe they ended up having to tranquilize it."
Officials say they also discovered an older, emaciated horse. While Aumann Acres is a fully functional RV Park with trailers leasing spaces, the search was contained to the red barn up front and a shed just behind it, that appear to be occupied by the owners of the property.
"There was what we believe is a marijuana cultivation going on in the red barn," said Opgrande. "We also found furniture that possibly, based on the information we gathered, appears to be a large, high dollar amount of furniture purchased with maybe a fraudulent credit card or charge account."
He says the furniture appears to have been purchased in the last couple of days and the person charged is a woman in Edmond who Opgrande thinks may be a victim of fraud.
Attorneys for the suspects were also on scene.
"We don't think any of them have done anything wrong at all, certainly we think they are going to be vindicated," said attorney James Pasquali, who represents Aumann's brother. "We think this is a situation where people may have brought items onto this property that may have been stolen, it’s my understanding that Mr. Aumann reported a stolen trailer to law enforcement and that’s how this got rolling."
Opgrande says he believes the value of the items seized amount to about $100,000. Templett faces grand larceny charges and Aumann faces charges for cultivation. Aumann's brother, who runs the RV Park, has not been charged.