Arkansas River Medical Waste Dumping Suspect Sentenced For Cattle Rustling

Friday, May 8th 2015, 10:50 am
By: News On 6

A Ralston man was sentenced to prison this week after pleading guilty to stealing seven head of a cattle from an Osage County ranch last year.

In December, rangers with the Texas Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association arrested Garrett Gibson, 27, for stealing the cattle from a ranch on the Pawnee-Osage County line. He later sold the cattle at livestock markets in Kay and Pawnee County. 

He was arrested at a home in Oklahoma City after being charged in December 2014.

While out on bond, Gibson also became a suspect in another high-profile case. In March, Gibson was charged in Tulsa County with stealing boxes of medical waste from a hospital, and subsequently charged in Pawnee County with dumping the waste off bridges and into the Arkansas River.

Those cases still are ongoing.

12/29/2014 Related Story: Ralston Man Wanted For Cattle Rustling Found Barricaded In Closet, Rangers Say

During a court hearing this week in Pawhuska this week, Gibson pleaded guilty to larceny of livestock and was sentenced to 10 years in prison, with eight years of the 10 years suspended. He was also ordered to pay $20,000 in restitution to the Bledsoe Ranch.

“This case is a great example of TSCRA Special Rangers working with local authorities to seek justice for ranchers who have unfortunately been victims of cattle theft,” special ranger Bart Perrier said. “I encourage all ranchers to always brand and keep a close watch on their cattle. These precautions serve as the best defense against cattle theft.”

3/20/2015 Related Story: Experts: Cleveland Drinking Water Safe From Medical Waste Scare

Gibson has a long record of theft-related crimes, documents show. He confessed to check forgery in May 2014, but he failed to appear for sentencing in January 2015 and a warrant was issued for his arrest, and was convicted of shoplifting from a Stillwater golf course.

Gibson is awaiting a preliminary hearing in Pawnee County for reportedly dumping the medical waste off Arkansas River bridges in Ralston and Cleveland in March.

According to court documents, Gibson posed as a janitor in order to gain access to dozens of sharps containers of medical biohazards -- needles and near-empty vials of medication.

A fisherman found the containers washing onto the shore and reported it to authorities. The containers were marked with the name of St. John Medical Center. A St. John security memo sent out before Gibson was arrested said an unauthorized man was seen on surveillance cameras going room to room in the hospital stealing biohazard boxes.

According to the memo, it happened every few days for about a week.

Gibson also lied to the Pawnee County Sheriff during an interrogation, saying he was an OU medical student, documents say. When the sheriff bucked that claim, Gibson reportedly confessed to dumping the containers.

A source told News On 6 that Gibson stole the biohazard boxes in hopes of getting pain medication for himself.

The bond for him in Pawnee County carries a half-million dollar bond and he was charged with multiple crimes, including pattern of criminal offenses, larceny of a controlled substance and discharging pollutants into state waters. He faces more than 40 years in prison and nearly $600,000 in fines if convicted for the medical waste incident.

He will be transferred to prison to serve time for stealing cattle while awaiting hearings for the various other cases.