Utah Farm Bureau joins other groups to reward informants of cattle shooting | People
The following was provided by the Utah Farm Bureau Federation:
SANDY, Utah. November 18, 2010 - The Utah Farm Bureau Federation will join with five other organizations in a reward presentation for four men who provided information that led to the arrest and conviction of individuals responsible for the shooting and death of cattle in Tooele County earlier this year.
The Utah Farm Bureau will join with the Tooele County Farm Bureau, Humane Society of Utah, Utah Farmers Union, the Tooele County Commission, and one of the ranchers involved in presenting a $4,000 reward to be split amongst the four individuals.
The presentation will be made during the 2nd day of the Farm Bureau's annual convention, held at the Davis Conference Center in Layton. The groups and individuals will be joined by members of the Tooele County Attorney's office, who were responsible for the prosecution of the perpetrators.
On January 2, 2010, the Tooele County Sheriff's Department was notified through a phone call of a livestock shooting that took place in the Skull Valley area of Tooele County. Michael Ostler, along with Christopher Ostler, Tanner Ostler, and James Christopherson, witnessed the shootings and called law enforcement to assist with the investigation.
Upon meeting with law enforcement, the witnesses helped law enforcement in locating three cows which had been shot. Using the witness information, four individuals were arrested and - following an investigation - were convicted of the crime. As a direct result of the witnesses' assistance, the victims of this crime received three times the value of the animals which were lost in restitution.
"These witnesses could have disregarded the criminal activity taking place as they were under no legal duty to act," said Gary Searle, Chief Deputy in the Tooele County Attorney's Office. "However, they did what we in law enforcement hope any good citizen would do-they reported the crime and assisted in the investigation which brought the perpetrators to justice."
"We in the agricultural industry are grateful and want to thank the witnesses for working with law enforcement to solve this crime," said Leland Hogan, president of the Utah Farm Bureau Federation. "Citizen participation is critical to upholding our society of laws and serves as a deterrent for criminal activity."
"The shooting of these cattle was an egregious act," said Gene Baierschmidt, Executive Director for the Humane Society of Utah. "All of us at the Humane Society of Utah were outraged when we learned about this incident. These animals were the victims of a callous act and we, as an organization, are pleased to join the strong stand taken by the Utah Farm Bureau by honoring those individuals who did the right thing by contacting law enforcement officers and identifying the guilty parties. Hopefully, this will serve as a deterrent and prevent crimes of this nature from happening in the future."
The witnesses will be recognized Friday, November 19th, at 3:15 p.m. at the Utah Farm Bureau Federation convention, held at the Davis Conference Center in Layton.