KLA will present a check for $2,500 to Scott McCornack of Dibble, OK, for information he provided that led to the arrest and conviction of thieves who stole cattle from a KLA member in Cherokee County. McCornack, a cattle buyer, recognized Jim Gaither’s brand on 17 steers going through the Oklahoma National Stockyards December 11, 2018. He quickly called Gaither, who immediately contacted Cherokee County authorities. Due to McCornack’s actions, Oklahoma investigators were able to rapidly respond to the sale facility, identify the steers as stolen and arrest Anthony Whittley, 28, of Parsons, and Jasmine Boone, 28, of Wister, OK. The pair pleaded guilty to cattle theft last month.
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 is expected to take place soon.
Gaither, from Columbus, nominated McCornack to receive the theft reward from KLA. Members of the KLA Stockgrowers Council Executive Committee reviewed the request and recommended paying the full amount of the reward, which is offered in cases where livestock, equipment, tack or pharmaceuticals are stolen from a KLA member. The KLA Board of Directors unanimously voted to approve the payment.
“This is the way the KLA theft reward program is designed to work,” said KLA Chief Executive Officer Matt Teagarden. “We hope this discourages thieves and inspires others to be vigilant at all times as livestock are bought and sold.”