Grand Theft for Stealing Horses
A former California brand inspector has been bound over for trial on a charge of grand theft. Summer Tex is accused of stealing Quarter Horses before they were reportedly slaughtered in Canada.
Two retired horses – one a former roper and the other a former barrel horse – were entrusted to Tex by their owner. Tex was supposed to ship the aged horses named Lacey and Squirt in August 2013 to Fresno County’s Harris Ranch. The pair was to live out their days as a part of the “Pasture Buddies” program at the farm, but they never made it.
Authorities say the next month a paper trail leads from Madera to Florence Packing Company in Stanwood, Washington where ownership of the horses changed hands. Due to Lacey’s brand, the sheriff’s department confirms the mare was inspected and shipped to Bouvry Exports, which is a slaughterhouse located in Alberta, Canada. They say fraudulent paperwork was used. Squirt was not branded, but authorities say they believe the gelding was also sold for slaughter and died with his stablemate.
Officials also charged B&B Livestock Auction’s Billy Ray Brown, Jr. with selling Lacey out of state to be slaughtered for human consumption.
After the preliminary hearing this month, the judge dismissed the charge against Brown citing jurisdictional issues.