LLANO COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — Craig Bauman has been booked into the Llano County Jail twice in less than a month.
The longtime farmer and rancher and former Llano City Council member was arrested Friday, after a Llano County grand jury handed down a felony indictment on Sept. 9 against him for theft of livestock.
Bauman, 41, was also arrested last month by the Llano County Sheriff’s Office on two misdemeanor animal cruelty charges related to both dead and live pigs in his care found on the Schenken Genetics ranch in Llano.
Bauman told KXAN in an interview it was a tragic accident caused by a broken water line.
This new case was handled by Special Ranger Mike Barr with the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association.
Barr told KXAN that Bauman wrote a $9,250 check to the National Swine Registry in 2018 for five show hogs that he went and picked up in Indiana, but the check bounced due to insufficient funds. The organization’s attempts to get payment have been unsuccessful, according to Barr.
The NSR contacted Barr in July of this year about the issue. Barr said Bauman owes the NSR between $12,000 and $13,000 due to the hot check, plus legal fees associated with the group’s efforts to collect the payment.
Barr said this is not the first time Bauman has not paid for livestock in the last year and half, but it’s never resulted in a criminal case. Barr said during previous situation when he would get involved, Bauman would come up with the funds to pay the seller.
Bauman has since bonded out of jail. His bond was set at $7,5000. Barr said the punishment for the felony theft charge he’s facing ranges from two to 10 years in prison, and a fine of no more than $10,000.
KXAN reached out to Bauman over the weekend. He said he is not ready to comment. His attorney, Steven Todd, told KXAN they will not be able to make a statement until they receive more information from the district attorney’s office.
Texas & Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association
Barr is one of 30 commissioned peace officers stationed in districts across Texas and Oklahoma who serve as the TSCRA special rangers. They investigate approximately 1,000 agricultural crime cases and recover an average of $5 million a year in stolen cattle and assets for ranchers.
TSCRA special rangers are commissioned through the Texas Department of Public Safety or the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation. The special rangers stationed along the Texas-Oklahoma border are dually commissioned to investigate agricultural crime in both states.
TSCRA special rangers’ duties include:
- Investigate thefts of cattle, horses, saddles, trailers, equipment, and even poaching
- Pursue white-collar criminals who commit agricultural fraud
- Inspect livestock to determine ownership and prevent theft after a natural disaster such as wildfire, flood or hurricane
- Determine the ownership of estray, or stray livestock
- Educate landowners on how to prevent theft and spoil the plans of thieves