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Thief Caught Selling Stolen Cattle

Friday, February 16, 2018 | 04:28pm

NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Department of Agriculture’s Ag Crime Unit has charged a man with theft for selling stolen cattle.

On Jan. 31, Jason Andrew Witherspoon of Lebanon, Tenn. purchased 11 head of cattle at the Kentucky-Tennessee Livestock Market in Guthrie, Ky. He then drove to the Dickson Regional Livestock Center in Dickson, Tenn., where he sold the cattle to the sale manager for $7,200.

The Kentucky-Tennessee Livestock Market soon contacted the Agricultural Crime Unit (ACU), indicating that Witherspoon paid for the cattle with a worthless check.

On Feb. 8, the Dickson sale manager notified ACU investigator Millie Binkley that Witherspoon had contacted him to sell more cattle. When Witherspoon returned to the Dickson Regional Livestock Center to finalize the deal, officers with the ACU and the Dickson police department arrested him.

Witherspoon is charged with two counts of felony theft of property.

Witherspoon is being held on $80,000 bond in the Dickson County jail. He faces additional charges in Wilson and Trousdale Counties in Tennessee, as well as Todd County, Ky.

State investigators work closely with local authorities and livestock markets to track and recover stolen animals. However, livestock owners are encouraged to take action to guard their investment.

• Visible brands can deter thieves and speed recovery
• Count livestock daily
• Report thefts to law enforcement immediately
• Make sure gates are locked and, if possible, well lit
• Consider installation of a security camera system

To report theft of livestock, contact the Tennessee Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Crime Unit at 1-844-AGCRIME or 1-844-242-7463.