Grayson County horse theft suspect traced to Caribbean
SHERMAN, Texas (KTEN) — Landen James, a Tioga horse trainer who was accused of stealing horses and thousands of dollars, has been taken into custody in the U.S. Virgin Islands — 2,200 miles away.
The Grayson County Sheriff's Office said it obtained a felony warrant for James' arrest on October 25.
"The case initiated on October 17th," said Investigator Robert McCrary. "Flight records indicate that he flew out of Orlando, Florida, to St. Thomas on October 18th. We received an anonymous tip from somebody there where he was working, and they went and arrested him."
The Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association Special Rangers and the United States Marshals Service assisted with James' apprehension by U.S. Marshals.
"Investigators said around 30 individuals had made allegations against James, a former manager at Majestic Ranch, including Joanna Brutsman.
"I actually had confronted him over some money that he had billed me fraudulently on in the last few weeks he was there," she said. "We were supposed to meet one more time, and then I was probably going to pull my horse from him. Then that was the week he took off."
Arrangements are now being made to extradite James back to Grayson County.
"Due to the fact that there's so many victims, we're going to do an aggregate theft, which means it's going to be the total amount of theft," McCrary said. "Right now, we're over $300,000, so that's a first-degree felony in the State of Texas."
"I don't think any of us are going to see any money again," Brutsman lamented. "I lost money through this and so did many other people ... but I would like to see some jail time ... I would also like for the people who don't have their horses back, I'm hoping he will help them get their horses back."