Two Ellis County men charged in cattle theft case
Joey Lee Barnett and Heath Thomas Barton charged for stealing and selling cattle in Oklahoma.
FORT WORTH, TX (April 4, 2023) – Two Ellis County, Oklahoma, residents, Joey Lee Barnett and Heath Thomas Barton were charged with larceny of domestic animals. The charges filed are the result of an investigation led by Texas & Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association Special Ranger Ben Eggleston.
In February, Special Ranger Eggleston received a call from a rancher in Ellis County, Oklahoma, who was missing four heifers. The rancher said the heifers were Romagnola-Angus crossbred cattle with the rancher’s brand on the left hip.
Eggleston initiated an investigation, looking at livestock auctions in the area for the stolen cattle.
The investigation revealed heifers matching the rancher’s description had been sold at a nearby livestock auction by Barnett and Barton. Eggleston soon learned Barnett and Barton were previous caretakers of the cattle.
Eggleston, along with the Ellis County Sheriff’s Office, charged Barnett and Barton with larceny of domestic animals. Barnett was already in custody for unrelated charges and Barton surrendered to authorities March 25. He was released on $15,000 bond.
Texas & Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association Special Ranger team would like to thank the Ellis County Sheriff’s Office and the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture for their joint effort in the investigation.
Texas & Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association