By Andy Cordan
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A longtime investigator for the Tennessee Department of Agriculture says they are dealing with the biggest case of cattle rustling he has ever worked.
Hundreds of cows worth more than $426,000 were stolen.
The case came together Thursday with the arrest of 26-year old Casey Delaney.
Investigators told News 2 the Russelville, Kentucky woman came to Tennessee livestock producers in Columbia in mid-March and purchased 92 cows.
She wrote a check for more than $136,000 for the animals. Authorities said the check bounced and the cows were more than likely sold at another cattle auction in Kentucky. According to agents with the state agriculture department, Delaney was not authorized to buy or sell that many cows in Tennessee so she sent an accomplice named Johnnie Fisher.
Lee Maddox with the Tennessee Farm Bureau said prices for cattle are over $2 a pound, which is an all-time high.
That’s good for cattlemen, but also attractive to cattle rustlers.
“A 500 pound cow can command up to $1,200. Sometimes up to $1,500,” explained Maddox.
Ag agents say Delaney also wrote $139,000 worth of bad checks for cattle in Lawrence County and Fisher wrote bad checks for $151,000 for cattle in Lincoln County.
In all, the couple is accused of swindling area stockyards out of more than $426,000.
Fisher was arrested by law officers in Lincoln County.
Delaney was taken into custody Thursday in Robertson County.
Officials say it may be sometime until they figure out where the money has gone and where the cows were sold in multiple states. Video.