A joint investigation by the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture and the Creek County Sheriff's Office has led authorities to stolen cattle and resulted in an arrest.
Ricky Dale Bethel, 62, of Mannford, was taken into custody after reportedly admitting that he and another man stole cattle from Kansas and branded over the original brand, according to an affidavit. Deputies found four heifers and a bull, they said.
Investigators said they also found a Honda four-wheeler, which had a serial number that matched one stolen from Lincoln County, and a zero-turn lawn mower reportedly stolen from Stroud. The mower had been painted over and marked with a different brand name, the affidavit says. Other items discovered on Bethel's land also are being investigated as possible stolen property.
During a search of the home, deputies found two glass pipes next to Bethel's bed, and Bethel told an ODA agent he had a meth lab in a field silo, the report says.
Deputies said they recovered a one-pot meth lab, three boxes of marijuana that weighed approximately 4.3 pounds and a plastic bag that contained 32 grams of a crystal substance that tested positive for methamphetamine, the affidavit says.
The investigation is ongoing and the DOA is building a separate case against a man they said was Bethel's partner in stealing the cattle, deputies say.