Rural Texas judge arrested, charged with cattle theft and organized crime

MENTONE, Texas — A Special Ranger with the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association arrested Loving County Judge Skeet Lee Jones on Friday. Jones was charged with theft of livestock and engaging in organized crime.

The special ranger said an investigation had been ongoing for a year. Judge Jones and three others were accused of picking up estray (loose) cattle and selling them. Officially the judge was charged for the theft of three head of cattle. But the special ranger said more than likely there will be additional charges.

Jones was taken to the nearby Winkler County jail.

It was not Judge Jones’ first brush with trouble. In 2016, the State Commission on Judicial Conduct issued a public warning and order of additional education.

The commission said Jones changed speeding tickets into parking violations. The violator would pay a higher fine but still keep a clean driving record. The commission said the parking fines were in excess of amounts allowed by law.

At that time, Judge Jones was ordered to complete 10 hours of instruction.

Picture Credit: (Sonya N. Hebert/The Dallas Morning News via AP)