Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Pierz Man Charged with Grand Theft of Cattle

(AP) Authorities of Codington County, South Dakota have charged 52-year-old Joey "Joe" Varner with aggravated grand theft. Varner was arrested yesterday afternoon in Fergus Falls, and was taken to the Ottertail County jail where he was released after posting $100,000 bond. He was charged after 188 head of cattle allegedly were stolen from a Watertown, South Dakota auction barn on March 3rd. The cattle have been located, and are at an undisclosed site. They were under U.S. Bankruptcy Court control, pending their sale in Watertown. Varner is co-owner of Watertown Livestock, and has ownership interests in other livestock auction barns in Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota. The next court date is in Watertown on July 14th. Maximum pentalty for aggravated grand theft is 15 years in prison and a $30,000 fine.

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