On October 3, 2023, agents with the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry’s (LDAF) Livestock Brand Commission arrested 49-year-old Louis Michael Hess, of Houma, La., on a warrant for theft of livestock. The arrest resulted from an investigation conducted by Livestock Brand Inspectors and a subsequent arrest warrant from Tangipahoa Parish.
The investigation, which is supported by video evidence obtained by brand inspectors, alleges that on the night of September 25, 2023, Hess illegally removed seven head of cattle (valued at $6,000) from a livestock market in Tangipahoa Parish without the owner’s permission. Additionally, on October 3, 2023, Hess allegedly attempted to sell some of the stolen cattle, which resulted in his apprehension. Hess was booked into the Tangipahoa Parish Jail on the warrant. Bond was set at $25,000.
At the time of this report, brand inspectors had recovered some of the stolen livestock. An investigation to recover the remaining stolen livestock is ongoing.
“LDAF brand inspectors work closely with local and state law enforcement agencies whose assistance is instrumental in solving these cases,” said LDAF Commissioner Mike Strain. “With their help, and as the availability of electronic video to capture suspects’ movements on the night of crimes becomes more common, we can continue to identify and prosecute those who perpetrate agricultural crimes and livestock theft such as this.”
LDAF’s Livestock Brand Commission was assisted in this investigation by the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Department and the Louisiana State Police Analytical and Fusion Exchange.
The Livestock Brand Commission maintains a 24-hour Crimestoppers hotline at (800) 558-9741 for the public to report thefts or other agriculture related crimes.
All persons accused of crimes are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law