7 Accused Of Theft From Kentwood Farmers’ Co-Op
KENTWOOD, La. (AP) — Three employees of a farmer-owned co-op in Tangipahoa Parish and four other people have been booked with organized retail theft of about $150,000 worth of feed, seed and other items from the Kentwood Co-Op.
Missing items included horse feed, cattle feed, dog food, shelled corn, alfalfa bales and cubes, chicken feed, protein tubs, bagged minerals, mineral blocks, salt blocks, dewormer blocks, iron clay pea seeds, sorghum seed, milk replacer, herbicides and a 16 foot galvanized gate, according to a news release Tuesday from state Agriculture Commissioner Mike Strain and the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office.
More arrests are possible, it said.
Agricultural co-ops buy farming and ranching feed and supplies so members can get them at as low a cost as possible.
The stolen goods were sold for at most half the cost they should have brought, said Veronica Mosgrove, spokeswoman for the Department of Agriculture and Forestry.
Booked only with organized retail theft were Amos Floyd Womack III, of Kentwood, Darrell Sanders Jones, of Kentwood, Robert N. Hutchinson, Jr., of Tangipahoa, and Michael Samuel Trabona, of Amite, according to a news release.
Co-op employees Oscar Joey Sharp, of Kentwood, and Michael Stewart, of Fluker, were booked with simple burglary as well as organized retail theft, and employee Fredrick Shropshire, of Magnolia, Miss., was also booked as a principal to simple burglary.
Womack allegedly bought some of the feed but he is also accused of being an accomplice to one of the employees, who is related to him. Mosgrove said investigators won’t say which employee he’s related to.
The men were arrested between Aug.13 and Aug. 17.
Mosgrove said all are accused of theft of more than $500. That carries a maximum sentence of 10 years at hard labor and a $10,000 fine.