Cattle rustler wrangled in Region 8

Ronald Ryan Shepard Jr. (Source: Sharp County Jail)
Ronald Ryan Shepard Jr. (Source: Sharp County Jail)

ASH FLAT, AR (KAIT) - One of the oldest crimes of the American West has remerged in Sharp County.

A Florida man is accused of stealing $1.35 million in cattle from the Ash Flat Livestock Auction.
According to Sharp County Sheriff Mark Counts, Ronald Ryan Shepard Jr. wrote hot checks in Texas, Florida, Kentucky, and Missouri--scheming several millions from ranchers and even school programs like 4-H and FFA.
Shepard was arraigned in court Wednesday, nearly one year after his semi truck rolled out of Ash Flat with the cattle.

"The prosecutor's office here had filed a theft of property charge against Ron Shepard, in reference to an incident involving cattle theft."

Shepard was tracked down and arrested by U.S. Marshals in Mexico and shipped back to federal prison in Michigan, before Sharp County Sheriff Mark Counts extradited him.

Shepard joins his accomplice, Jeremy Pierce, at the Sharp County Jail on 400 thousand dollars bond.

"Hopefully, we'll get to hold him. We're trying to make arrangements with federal authorities to see if we can hold him until our trial date. If not, we'll have to take him. Then run back and forth to get him."

Sheriff Counts is still waiting to hear back from those federal agents, hoping for a court date as soon as April.

"He may go to trial in April. I know that there's been appointed a defense attorney. I know that he, the prosecution and defense attorney will be talking back and forth to get a date set for the trial."

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