OKLAHOMA CITY – Authorities say a couple has pleaded guilty to cattle rustling after they allegedly stole 17 head of cattle from a ranch in Kansas.
In December, Chief Agent Jerry Flowers received a call about a couple trying to sell stolen cattle in the Stockyards in Oklahoma City.
Anthony Whittley and Jasmine Boone allegedly stole the cows from a pasture in Kansas and brought them to Oklahoma.
When they arrived, witnesses at the Stockyards knew something wasn’t right.
“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 team 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 told News 4.
The stolen cattle were sold for nearly $11,000, and Whittley and Boone asked for the sale to be split into two separate checks.
“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 year and collecting about $80,000.
On June 5, Whittley and Boone pleaded guilty to transporting cattle in interstate commerce. They admitted to committing similar crimes in Crawford County, Kansas and LeFlore County, Oklahoma. They also admitted to selling stolen cattle in Tulsa, Springfield and Siloam Springs.
Whittley agreed to pay more than $43,000 in restitution, while Boone agreed to pay more than $28,000 in restitution.
They could be sentenced to a maximum of five years in prison. Sentencing will take place in approximately 90 days.