Judson Shurley: Suspected cattle rustler arrested, could be biggest case in Martin history

Charged with stealing 175 cows

MARTIN COUNTY, Fla. - Detectives say over an 18-month period Judson Shurley of Okeechobee took 175 cows from Pine Ridge Plantation in Western Martin County and sold them, pocketing more than 100-thousand dollars.

"A scheme like this that took so long and so much property was stolen, we haven't seen anything like this," said Martin County Sheriff William Snyder.

The way detectives say Shurley managed to carry this out was that he only took a few cows at a time.  But they eventually found where he was selling them.  They found video from the Arcadia Stockyard.  

Detectives subpoenaed records from there and the Okeechobee Livestock Market.  On 22 occasions, Shurley allegedly sold cows that weren't his.

 When it came time for regular counts of the cattle on the Pine Ridge property, Shurley would apparently mix in their cows with those on neighboring ranches.

Pine Ridge Plantation may have to get out of the cattle business as a result., 

"I'm very upset about it.  I was very good to him and he needs to pay," said Dave Rorabeck  with Pine Ridge Plantation

The Martin County Sheriff's Office believes there may be other victims in this case.  A neighboring ranch is missing 35 head of cattle.

This story was updated to clarify the first name of the suspect.

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