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RBC | Former county extension agent Bill Ekstrom was arrested Thursday, Oct. 24 on 12 felony charges ranging from wrongful branding to cattle theft to concealing estrays, according to a press release received from the Rio Blanco County Sheriff’s Office.
An estray is defined as “a domestic animal that is wandering at large or is lost.”
The arrest was the result of a joint investigation between the Rio Blanco County Sheriff’s Office and the State of Colorado Brand Inspectors Office.
Rio Blanco County Undersheriff Jeremy Muxlow and Brand Inspector Casey Griffith received information that Ekstrom was possibly in possession of cattle not belonging to him. A search warrant was obtained to search the property of Ekstrom and as a result several cattle were taken into custody as evidence. After further investigation, an arrest warrant was obtained for Ekstrom and he was taken into custody without incident.
Ekstrom is charged with three counts of wrongful branding (class 6 felony), three counts of theft of cattle (class 4 felony), three counts of who may take up estrays (class 6 felony) and three counts of concealing estrays (class 6 felony).
Ekstrom retired in September 2018 after 32 years as the county’s extension agent.
This is a developing story. More information will be released as it is made available.