A Stephenville man accused of promising an ailing Odessa rancher that he would care for his cattle and horses but selling them instead was in jail Wednesday.
Special ranger Kenny Wadsworth of the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association arrested Asher Quinn Hoxie, 38, on Tuesday. The livestock, which included 210 head of cattle and 30 horses, was worth more than $200,000, a news release said Wednesday.
“Cattle prices are up, and we’ve seen an increase in the theft of cattle,” said Laramie Adams of the Cattle Raisers Association. “This case is [unusual] because he’s accused of taking advantage of someone.”
More arrests are expected, Adams said.
After the rancher contracted a life-threatening illness, Hoxie offered to take care of his cattle and horses.
“He knew the rancher through a mutual friend,” special ranger Wayne Goodman said Wednesday. “In 2012, he went up there to Odessa with a truck and brought the livestock back to Erath County.”
He sold a few at a time, mostly in Erath County, Goodman said.
The special rangers began their investigation in March, assisted by Erath County sheriff’s deputies.
Hoxie was in the Erath County Jail on Wednesday with bail set at $500,000. He faces a charge of misapplication of fiduciary property over $200,000, Adams said. Additional charges are expected.
The Odessa rancher survived his illness.
Authorities are trying to locate the stolen cattle and horses.
“I always encourage ranchers to brand their cattle and report suspicious activity taking place on their property to their local law enforcement as soon as possible,” Goodman said.
The Cattle Raisers Association has 30 special rangers trained in law enforcement and the cattle industry stationed throughout Texas and Oklahoma, commissioned by the Texas Department of Public Safety or the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation.
Domingo Ramirez Jr., 817-390-7763