Texas man sentenced to 50 years in cattle theft case
FORT WORTH, TX (Feb. 28, 2023) – A Lee County resident, Wilbur Eugene Jackson, was convicted and sentenced earlier this month on two counts of theft of livestock. The convictions are the result of an investigation led by Texas & Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association Special Ranger Kenny Murchison.
According to Special Ranger Murchison, reports of suspicious sales of cattle arose in March 2022 when Jackson brought cattle to the Brenham County Livestock Auction. The cattle did not have any identifying brands but did have both ear tips notched. Murchison initiated an investigation into the sale but could not find the owner of the cattle.
In May 2022, Murchison received a call from a rancher in Lee County missing a group of 11 calves. The rancher said the calves were not branded but did have both ear tips notched. Murchison began his investigation and recalled the cattle from the Brenham Livestock Auction. Realizing the similarity, Murchison spoke with the rancher and discovered Jackson was an employee of the ranch.
With the assistance of fellow Special Ranger Brent Mast, TSCRA found the Lee County rancher’s 11 missing calves had been sold at the Navasota Livestock Auction by Jackson. Shortly after, the rancher confirmed the cattle sold at the Brenham County Livestock Auction in March were also from his herd.
Jackson was arrested May 13 by the Lee County Sheriff’s Office for violating his probation on his 2016 theft of livestock charge and unauthorized use of a vehicle charge.
Murchison filed two theft of livestock cases on Jackson, one for the cattle sold at Brenham and one for the calves sold at Navasota. A Lee County Grand Jury later indicted Jackson on both charges. Due to Jackson’s criminal history, both charges were enhanced to first-degree felonies, and Jackson was filed as a habitual offender.
Feb. 10 Jackson appeared before Lee County District Judge Campbell where he was sentenced to 50 years in the Texas Department of Corrections.
Texas & Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association Special Ranger team would like to thank the Lee County Sheriff’s Office, Lee County Attorney’s Office, Department of Public Safety Analyst Lance Petri, Brenham County Livestock Auction Barn and the Navasota Livestock Auction for their joint effort in the investigation.