Auction owners react to Shepard's arrest, he appears in TX court

Ron Shepard (prior mugshot)
Ron Shepard (prior mugshot)

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - The accused cattle rustler who went missing nearly four months ago in the Heartland says he's glad to be back in the United States, according to a Federal Marshal in Houston, Texas where he's being held.

Deputy Alfredo Perez also says Shepard appeared "a little older" than the mug shots we've shown you of him.

Perez says Mexican immigration officers assisted by U.S. Marshals arrested him in Mazatlan Tuesday morning.

Shepard appeared before a federal judge late Wednesday afternoon.

According to Perez, that judge will most likely order Shepard back to Illinois to face charges he violated the terms of his federal probation.

It did not take long for news of Shepard's arrest to reach his alleged victims in several states including Missouri.

"I was happy that we got him, that they finally got him caught," said Wayne Sharrock.

The owner of Patton Junction Livestock Auction says he knew Ron Shepard would surface, probably out of the country.

"How did you find out?" I asked Sharrock of Shepard's arrest.

"Channel 12, 10 o'clock news," he responded, referring to Tuesday night's broadcast.

In Emory Texas, Kim Forester Haupt of Emory Livestock got a call from a Texas Ranger on the case.

"We are beyond excited," Haupt said by phone. "This has been a long effort. We've been tracking him since September and finally we have an end in sight."

In Ash Flat, Arkansas, auction owner Mike Nix got a call from a US Marshal.

They called me at 11 o'clock (Tuesday evening). They told me they had him on U.S. soil and they said they would keep their hands on him," Nix said.

Federal authorities in Illinois get the first shot at Shepard.

He faces two years in prison for violating probation following his 2004 conviction on wire fraud charges out of Florida.

With cases pending in Texas, Arkansas, and Kentucky among other states, Wayne Sharrock does not expect to see his former friend in a Missouri courtroom.

"The first time, I think, will be the end of it," Sharrock said. "They'll do it all right there."

"Would that be enough justice for you?" I asked.

"Oh, I think it will be," he answered.

Nix, meantime, says Shepard's actions changed he way he does business.

"You know, he came to our sales for four years and got to be a friend," Nix recalled. "It just makes it bad on everybody."

Kim Haupt only dealt with Ron Shepard over the phone. Now, she looks forward to seeing him in person.

"I know definitely I will see the man face to face," Haupt said. "I don't care where I have to go to do it. I'm going to look the man in the eye and let him know you cannot do this to people, that we will fight back and we will come after you."

Deputy Perez says his office will have 15 days to begin the process of transferring Shepard to Illinois.

Shepard's Illinois probation officer tells me they will move quickly to get him into court, probably within a week or two of his arrival.

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