Missing cattle buyer faces new charges in Texas

Ron Shepard
Ron Shepard
Jeremy Pierce
Jeremy Pierce

BOLLINGER COUNTY, MO (KFVS) - Criminal charges continue to pile up against the Florida cattle buyer who went missing in Johnson County.

In Bollinger County, the owner of the Patton Junction Livestock Auction says Ron Shepard bought more than 70 head of cattle, then never paid for them.

The Missouri Highway Patrol's Rural Crimes Investigator, Brenda Cone, tells me she's turned her report on the crime over to Bollinger County authorities, and charges could come later this week.

Meantime, a Grand Jury down in Rains County, Texas indicted Shepard on theft charges today.

"We are tickled that he was indicted here and maybe we can find him and make him responsible for what he has done," said Kim Haupt, office manager for three Rains County auction barns where Shepard did business last year.

Haupt tells me Shepard stole more than $600,000 worth of cattle between August and October 2011.

"There are people out there losing their homes and their kids can't go to college. People are losing their whole livelihoods over this one individual man. And we hope and pray we can get him in court to let him answer to these charges."

Haupt says Shepard used a buyer to do business in Emory, then blamed his bank when checks started to bounce.

"He is a big black eye on our industry," Haupt said. "When you do business on a handshake and trust, it makes it hard on those people because it gets to where you can't trust the people who are going to be honest. He's a snake in the grass and he has hurt a lot of people."

Shepard, who's still missing, also faces cattle theft charges in Florida, Arkansas, and Kentucky.

His business partner, Jeremy Pierce, remains in the Williamson County Jail.

Pierce faces charges in Florida and Arkansas.

His attorney says Pierce is cooperating with federal authorities also investigating the theft allegations involving Shepard.

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