A cattle thief missing since March was located and extradited by U.S. Marshals Tuesday in Mexico. Ronald Shepard, 36, is in federal custody and expected to be arraigned today in Houston.
Shepard was wanted for federal bond default in the Southern District of Illinois after he violated his federally-supervised release on bank fraud charges. He was originally listed as a missing person in March after his vehicle was discovered unattended at an Illinois livestock auction market.
According to the U.S. Marshals Service, during the investigation, the agency became aware of at least 4 states where local agencies, including the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA), either had or were in the process of obtaining criminal arrest warrants on Shepard. The warrants stemmed from allegations that Shepard was fraudulently taking proceeds from U.S. cattle sales in excess of $2 million.
In May, Shepard was indicted by a grand jury in Rains County, Texas, on 3 counts of cattle theft after he failed to make prompt payment on cattle purchased from an East Texas auction market. TSCRA Special Ranger Larry Hand led the Texas investigation. An alert was issued by TSCRA soliciting information on Shepard’s whereabouts.
The U.S. Marshals Service said that TSCRA provided vital information to the agency which assisted in locating Shepard.
“This is a perfect example of federal, state and local authorities working together to bring justice to the victims,” Hand said. “By working together, we’ve sent a clear message that cattle theft will not be tolerated in Texas or anywhere else.”