A team of law enforcement officers, including Arkansas Department of Agriculture investigator Billy Black, have been working collaboratively to charge a Texas couple with livestock theft, forgery and fraud.
Aaron Todd Davis, 35, and Lindsay Davis, 38, are facing multiple charges following an investigation by Black, and the Texas Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association.
The couple purchased six calves in late March for the amount of $3,012.13. They are alleged to have used false identification and a fraudulent check to make the purchase. According to a statement from the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association, an investigation was underway, but before it was complete, the suspects paid the victim and the case was closed.
Then, in April, a Ranger with the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association received a phone call about a returned check at an auction market in East Texas. The market’s office manager told Ranger Brent Mast that the first-time buyers wrote a check for $5,151.55 to purchase three heifer yearlings and two bulls. Mast determined the check was a forgery and that Aaron Davis had used a fake identification card.
Simultaneously, in Calvert, Texas, the couple was alleged to have been involved in a similar crime, but paid restitution to the victim and the case was closed.
The Davises were also identified in a buying and selling scheme in Arkansas, again, allegedly using fraudulent identification and checks. According to a probable cause affidavit by the Sharp County Sheriff’s Office, the Nacogdoches, Texas couple had purchased 13 head of cattle from an Ash Flat Livestock Barn. According to that affidavit, the personal check was from the Texarkana area. Investigators later discovered that the Davises had allegedly sold those cattle in Morrilton on April 11, along with 14 other head of cattle.
Jara Settles, General Counsel and Vice President of Risk Mitigation of the Livestock Marketing Association, stated “by working with several markets in Arkansas as well as our Region Executive Officer, Terry Chapman, we were able to put together a timeline of events and some security footage to assist Chief Billy Black with the Arkansas Department of Agriculture in working his investigation. I was referred to Chief Black by Cody Burkham with the Arkansas Cattlemen’s Association.”
Billy Black, Chief of the Law Enforcement Division of the Arkansas Department of Agriculture, reached out to the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association for assistance in identifying the two suspects. After Black described the couple, along with the vehicle and trailer, Mast confirmed that the suspects matched the description of Aaron and Jessica Davis.
Aaron Davis was arrested on May 4 on suspicion of engaging in continuing gang organization or enterprise, forgery II and theft of property greater than $5,000 but less than $25,000. Davis posted a $10,000 cash only bond on May 4. His next court date is scheduled for June 23 in a Sharp County Circuit Court.
According to a statement issued by the Texas Cattle Raisers Association, the couple were interviewed and confessed to the crimes. The two are charged with theft of livestock, forgery and theft of identity in Houston County, Texas, and theft of livestock in Arkansas.
Mast and Special Ranger Larry Hand extended their gratitude towards assisting agencies, including, Chief Billy Black; Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association Special Rangers Hal Dumas and Jimmy Belt; Officer Nathan Jessup and other members of the Nacogdoches Police Department; Captain Rusty Allen of the Nacogdoches County Sheriff’s Office; and Captain Heath Bragg, Game Warden, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.
“This was truly a team effort,” Mast said. “Due to our large network of law enforcement agencies and multiple officers pulling together, we were able to solve these cases and help protect livestock producers and marketers from future loss.”
Settles agreed, stating, “We cannot thank them enough for their cooperation and quick work to identify, apprehend, and successfully interview these suspects.”