Alliance, NE - On December 9, 2011, Duane W. Bolton of Rural Brownlee, NE entered a guilty plea per a plea bargain in Cherry County District Court, Valentine, NE of one count of Prohibited Brand a Class III Felony and one count Prohibited Sale a Class III Felony. According to court records, Duane W. Bolton on and between June 2007 and April 21, 2011 did willfully and knowingly brand, mark or cause to be branded or marked livestock owned by another with the intent to deprive and did without being the owner of livestock sell, offer for sale without bill of sale or power of attorney from the owner of such stock or have other satisfactory evidence of ownership.
On August 5, 2010, one black bull was consigned for sale at the Valentine Livestock Auction Market in Valentine, NE branded with a Nebraska recorded brand owned by Mark Nutter of Thedford, NE. This bull had been rebranded with a Nebraska brand recorded to Wynona Bolton of Valentine, NE. The Brand Inspectors employed by the Nebraska Brand Committee responsible for determining ownership on all cattle consigned for sale at the auction market questioned the consignment and contacted their area Criminal Investigator.
On April 21, 2011, a Nebraska Brand Committee Criminal Investigator and a Cherry County Sheriff's Deputy served a search warrant on the property of Duane W. Bolton. One additional black Angus bull was located on the premises branded with the brand owned by Mark Nutter and rebranded with the brand belonging to Wynona Bolton.
One additional count of Prohibited Brand was dismissed through the plea bargain arrangement and Duane W. Bolton is scheduled to be sentenced in Cherry County District Court on February 10, 2012.