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Top elected official in smallest county in Texas arrested for alleged cattle theft

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The highest elected official in Texas’ smallest county, and the least populated one within the continental United States, was arrested for cattle theft.

Choose Skeet Jones, 71, is accused of rounding up and promoting stray cattle and faces three felony counts of livestock theft and one rely of partaking in legal exercise.

A former sheriff’s deputy and two ranch fingers have additionally been arrested in reference to the alleged theft in rural Loving County.

Choose Jones, was booked into Winkler County Jail final week and launched on $20,000 bond, data present.

Former Loving County deputy Leroy Medlin Jr, 35, was arrested on one rely of partaking in legal exercise, which carries a sentence of as much as 20 years in jail.

Loving County is 671 sq. miles of desert in distant West Texas and has a inhabitants of simply 57 folks. It has no faculty, no church, no financial institution and no grocery retailer.

The Jones household is outstanding within the county, with Choose Jones serving within the place since 2007, whereas his sister is the county clerk, his cousin’s husband is the county legal professional, and his nephew is the constable, in keeping with NBC Information.

The arrests got here after a yearlong investigation, in keeping with the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Affiliation.

The affiliation has particular rangers who examine agricultural crimes, together with the theft of cattle and horses. It’s these rangers who decide the possession of stray livestock.

The particular rangers allege that Choose ones and the others gathered stray cattle and offered them with out following procedures set forth within the Texas Agriculture Code. These procedures embody calling the sheriff to report stray livestock and permitting the sheriff to seek for the animal’s proprietor.

Ranch hand Cody Williams, 31, was charged with three counts of livestock theft and fascinating in organised legal exercise.

Ranch hand Jonathon Alvarado, 23, faces one rely of theft of livestock, which carries a sentence of as much as 10 years in jail.

Mr Medlin, Mr Williams and Mr Alvarado all posted bond and have been launched from jail.

The Related Press contributed to this report.

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