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Two Quanah men sentenced for cattle rustling

Quanah_Press Release, Wilbarger County District Attorney_On Tuesday, two Quanah men were sentenced for their involvement with a cattle theft ring that operated in Hardeman County in 2006 and 2007.  Earl Colbert, 37, of Quanah, received a ten year prison sentence, and Lethal Wiseman, 32, of Quanah, received a six year sentence.

"In this part of the state, law enforcement takes livestock theft very seriously," said District Attorney Staley Heatly.  "Farming and ranching are an important part of our economy, and cattle thieves put farmers' and ranchers' livelihoods in jeopardy."

Earlier this year, Dale Ritchie, 30, of Quanah, pleaded guilty for his involvement in the cattle thefts.  He cooperated with authorities and received probation for a period of ten years.  According to Heatly, the three men starting stealing cattle from a Hardeman County ranch in June of 2006.  The men took the cattle to Elk City, Oklahoma, where they were sold at auction.  Investigators from the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association received a tip about the thefts on October 3, 2007, and all three men were arrested the next day.

"All told, over seventy head of cattle, valued at more than $30,000 were stolen," Heatly noted.

Mr. Colbert has a prior conviction for aggravated assault, while Mr. Wiseman and Mr. Richie have no prior convictions.  As a part of Mr. Wiseman's plea agreement, he will be eligible for shock probation after having served 90 days in the penitentiary.

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