U.S. Attorney Timothy Dowling announced last week that Anthony Whittley, 28, of Parsons and Jasmine Boone, 28, of Wister, OK, have pleaded guilty to cattle theft. A federal grand jury returned a two-count indictment charging Whittley and Boone with transporting 17 head of stolen cattle in interstate commerce on December 11, 2018. The thieves moved the cattle from Cherokee County to the Oklahoma National Stockyards Company in Oklahoma City. Agents arrested them when the sale was complete. They have been in custody of the U.S. Marshal Service since early April.
The pair acknowledged in a written plea agreement June 5 that they committed similar thefts in Crawford County and LeFlore County, OK. They admitted to selling these cattle in Tulsa, OK, and Springfield, MO. Stolen cattle also were sold by the thieves in Cherokee County and Siloam Springs, AR.
Whittley has agreed to pay more than $43,000 in restitution. Boone owes more than $28,000 in restitution. Each defendant could be sentenced to a maximum of five years in prison, in addition to three years of supervised release, and fined up to $250,000. Sentencing will take place in about 90 days.
This case is the result of an investigation by the FBI Oklahoma City Division; the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture; the Missouri Highway Patrol; the Kansas Attorney General’s Livestock Investigation Unit; county attorney and sheriffs' offices in Cherokee and Crawford counties; and the district attorney’s office in LeFlore County.
The cattle in Cherokee County were stolen from a KLA member, making the case eligible for the KLA theft reward program. Members of the KLA Stockgrowers Council and KLA Board of Directors will consider issuing a reward to an individual who provided information leading to the arrest and conviction of the thieves.