After months on the run, suspected horse thief behind bars

Jonathan Wesley Wright, or Trip McKenzie according to his fake driver’s license, said he’d turn himself in on Dec. 9. Instead, he ran.

But exactly three months later, the 37-year-old was stopped when the U.S. Marshalls arrested him in Galveston based on a warrant from Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association Special Ranger Wayne Goodman. He also had warrants in Parker County, Texas, in Oklahoma, Louisiana, and from the Texas Board of Pardons and Parole.

Wright wrote counterfeit checks bearing the name Superior Feeders LLC, Cuero, Texas, to purchase horses in Texas and Louisiana and a horse trailer in Tennessee. The property was recovered in December by Goodman and the Cimarron County (Oklahoma) Sheriff’s Department.

Goodman says it took a team of law enforcement agencies working together and is quick to credit the U.S. Marshalls, the Louisiana Department of Agriculture investigators, and sheriff’s departments in Kendall County, Texas, Austin County, Texas, and Cimarron County, Oklahoma.

The special ranger says this case serves as a reminder that sellers can’t be too careful—especially when dealing in high-value property.

“I tell people all the time, ‘If you don’t know the buyer or if they will not let you hold the property till the check clears, I wouldn’t let them leave with it,’” Goodman says. “This goes for horses, cattle, trailers—anything. If the buyer won’t agree to those terms, then tell them bye.”