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Terry Goddard Announces 2 1/2-Year Prison Term for Cattle Rustler

(Phoenix, Ariz. - Oct. 4, 2010) Attorney General Terry Goddard announced that Jason Lon Kirby, 34, of Datilo, New Mexico, was sentenced today in Pinal County Superior Court to two-and-a-half years in prison in a cattle rustling case.

Kirby received the prison term for theft, a class 4 felony, followed by seven years supervised probation for trafficking in stolen property in the first degree, a class 2 felony. Both charges involved cattle rustling in Arizona and Texas. Kirby pleaded guilty to the charges last month. He was sentenced by Judge Janna L. Vanderpool.

Kirby was also ordered to pay restitution to Plateau Partnership, a company based in northern Arizona. In 2009, he entered into a pasture agreement with Plateau Partnership to tend up to 500 cattle on land near Superior. According to the agreement, Kirby was paid $10,000 up front and $10 per animal per month.

The contract extended from January to May of 2009. Between May and June 2009, however, and without the authority of Plateau Partnership, Kirby sold 191 steers and heifers to feed yards in Texas. Kirby received over $100,000 for the cattle. 

This case was investigated by Agent Zeke Austin of the Arizona Department of Agriculture and prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Beverly Rudnick.

For additional information, contact Press Secretary Molly Edwards at 602.542.8019.