by Bob Mercer, Journal correspondent
Call it a modern-day cattle rustling tale, complete with stolen calves, illegal online sales, and a posse of state law enforcement officers all playing a part.
Kyle Alan Hall, 27, has pleaded guilty to stealing cattle from South Dakota ranchers and selling them on the Craigslist online sales site, as well as selling stolen farm equipment to a pawn shop.
Circuit Judge John Brown sentenced Hall this week to seven years in the state penitentiary for grand theft involving 11 calves taken from a Hyde County ranch where he worked as a hired hand. In all, 31 fresh-born calves were stolen in the case.
The judge suspended three years of the sentence provided that Hall pay restitution to rancher William Klein of rural Gann Valley and four other victims who bought some of the stolen calves.
Hall, who was convicted of receiving stolen property in a Pennington County case in 2011, pleaded guilty in January to stealing calves from Klein. The judge sentenced Hall on Monday.
The case against Hall surfaced when Klein and his ranch foreman noticed tools, equipment and calves were missing. Hall reportedly admitted to them on Oct. 20, 2014, that he took the tools, equipment and five calves.
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Source: Rapid City Journal