MATADOR, Texas — Calby Clayton Hill, 46, of Roaring Springs, was convicted last week for second-degree felony theft of livestock. The conviction comes after an investigation by Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA) Special Ranger Dean Bohannon.
Bohannon initiated the investigation Dec. 5, 2019, after receiving a call from John Hindman, TSCRA’s market inspector at the Floydada Livestock Auction. Hindman noticed something amiss with a load of cattle brought to the auction.
Hill brought 34 head of cattle to the sale for his boss but checked in 12 head in his own name. Bohannon and Hindman spoke to the rancher, who confirmed their suspicions—the 12 head didn’t belong to Hill.
In the subsequent investigation, Bohannon identified numerous other livestock auctions where Hill had sold cattle since he began working at the ranch in 2016. Hill eventually confessed to selling or attempting to sell 84 head of cattle stolen from his employer, worth more than $60,000. Before the investigation concluded, Bohannon was able to identify even more cattle stolen by Hill.
Hill was indicted on multiple counts of theft of livestock by a Motley County grand jury. The charges were enhanced to second-degree felonies because the crimes were perpetrated against an elderly victim. Hill was arrested Feb. 13, 2019, booked into the Dickens County Jail and subsequently released on a $110,000 bond.
On May 3, 2019, a Motley County jury convicted Hill on one count of second-degree felony theft of livestock and handed down a sentence of five years in state prison. He was also ordered to pay almost $5,000 in restitution and court costs.
Bohannon thanked all of those involved in the investigation, including fellow Special Rangers Jay Foster and Harold Dempsey, market inspector John Hindman, the Motley County Sheriff’s Office, especially Sheriff Robert Fisk, the Dickens County Sheriff’s Office and Game Warden Matt Cruse. He also thanked Wade Jackson, Motley County district attorney for his relentless prosecution of cattle thieves.
TSCRA’s Special Rangers are an elite group of law enforcement officers who have extensive knowledge of the cattle industry and primarily investigate cattle theft and other agricultural crimes, though they are well-trained in all facets of law enforcement. In all, TSCRA has 30 Special Rangers stationed throughout Texas and Oklahoma who are commissioned through the Texas Department of Public Safety or Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation.
The Special Rangers also oversee more than 80 TSCRA market inspectors who collect data, such as brands and other identifying marks on 4 to 5 million cattle sold at 100 Texas livestock markets each year. That information is entered into the TSCRA’s recording and retrieval system, which is a vital tool for law enforcement when investigating theft cases.
For more TSCRA news releases, visit tscra.org.