Texas Rangers join search for accused cattle rustler, offer reward

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - Special Rangers trained in both law enforcement and the cattle industry join the growing list of authorities searching for missing Florida cattle buyer Ron Shepard.

The Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA) announced Tuesday it is offering a reward for "any information leading to the arrest of Ronald Ryan Shepard, also known as Ron Shepard of Brookfield Cattle Company and Brook port Cattle Company."

The announcement comes on the heels of a three-count indictment handed down against Shepard in a Rains County, Texas courtroom Monday.

Shepard is charged with three counts of cattle theft after he allegedly failed to make "prompt payment" on cattle purchased on three different dates to an East Texas sale barn.

According to a release from TSCRA,  Special Ranger Larry Hand began investigating Shepard in August of 2011, after Brookfield Cattle Company failed to pay on more than $600,000 worth of cattle from seven different sale barns.

Shepard reportedly made eventual payments to six of the seven victims.

Hand says the amount of the reward will be based on the information received.

Shepard went missing March 26.

A worker at the United Producers Sale Barn in Goreville found his SUV running with his cell phone inside the vehicle.

Special Agent Hand warns "Shepard could be anywhere still buying cattle without prompt payment."

Shepard faces cattle theft charges in Kentucky, Florida, Arkansas, and now Texas.

Bollinger County, Missouri authorities are also working a case against him.

He's also wanted in Illinois for violating his probation.

Anyone with information on Ron Shepard is asked to contact TSCRA's Operation Cow Thief at 1-888-2333 or the U.S. Marshals Service in Benton, IL at 618-439-6442.

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