Defendant confessed to selling $50,000 worth of stolen cattle

A 40-year-old Gatesville man was arrested Saturday for selling 46 head of a former client’s cattle, worth $50,000. Christopher D. Cockrell began running cattle for the victim, a Bangs man, in the spring of 2016. Over time, the victim grew suspicious. He demanded Cockrell gather and sell his cattle for him and terminate their business relationship. Cockrell never gathered the cattle.

The victim reached out to Texas & Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association Special Ranger Marvin Wills, who initiated an investigation on December 4 that proved wrongdoing. Cockrell then confessed to selling the victim’s cattle by private treaty and keeping the proceeds.

Wills secured an arrest warrant for the theft of livestock charge, a third-degree felony. On Saturday, Cockrell was stopped by a Texas state trooper for a traffic violation and taken into custody on Wills’ warrant. He was released on Sunday after posting a $7,500 bond.

Wills said cases like this are not uncommon.

“Cattle raisers need to make sure they know the credibility of the person or persons taking care of their cattle,” he warned.  “Check their references. And once you form a partnership, keep good records of inventory on hand and visually inspect your cattle on a regular basis.”

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