Cattle rustler gets house arrest after guilty plea

A 21-year-old man accused of killing a calf in the Groundbirch Community Pasture has been sentenced to six months house arrest.

Cody Lee Housego, one of three men charged with shooting and butchering three calves in the pasture July 26, entered guilty pleas on seven charges in Dawson Creek provincial court Friday.

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He has been ordered to pay two ranchers $1,000 each in restitution for the calf he killed.

An RCMP constable tracked Housego and the two other men to his home in Dawson Creek after receiving a tip. The officer found the hind leg, hip and shoulder sections of the animals in a box in his truck after obtaining a search warrant.

Travis Wiebe and William Blanchard, the co-accused, will be arraigned Dec. 15.

On the morning of July 26, an acquaintance received a call from Housego, saying he was stranded around 10 kilometres into the Groundbirch pasture with a flat tire.

When he arrived, the man saw Housego and the co-accused with the remains of the calves.

After deciding what he'd seen was "not kosher," the man called the police and Cattlemen's Association, Crown prosecutor Tamera Golinsky said.  

RCMP later arrived on the scene, and two witnesses were able to identify the remains of the calves as belonging to Clinton and Gina Odden, and Victor Remple.

Somehow, the three accused were able to make it back to Dawson Creek, where they were arrested.

Golinsky said the case law on how to sentence people convicted of stealing cattle dates back to the 1970s. In the past, offenders in New Brunswick and Saskatchewan had been given jail time.

She cited two cases which stressed the importance of deterring people from abusing community pastures, which she described as systems "built on trust."

However, Housego's guilty plea saved the court considerable time, which the judge looked upon favourably. 

During the first four months of his sentence, Housego will only be allowed to leave home for work or medical emergencies. The conditional sentence order bans him from having firearms for five years. Housego was also ordered to stay away from Wiebe and Blanchard.

reporter@dcdn.ca

© Copyright Dawson Creek Mirror News

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