May 9, 2013 9:30 PM by Juice Godfrey

Sheriff's officials investigate wild horse buyer

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) - Southern Colorado authorities have opened an investigation into a wild horse buyer suspected of shipping hundreds of federally protected wild horses out of state without required inspections.

The Gazette reports the state brand commissioner sought the investigation into La Jara resident Tom Davis. District Attorney David Mahonee said Wednesday that Conejos County sheriff's officials are investigating.

Colorado law requires state brand inspections for livestock shipped more than 75 miles. Brand records show Davis has bought more than 1,700 horses from the Bureau of Land Management since 2009 but has shipped only 765. The whereabouts of the rest are in question.

The federal government is investigating whether the horses were illegally sold for slaughter. Davis has denied wrongdoing.

Davis' purchases came to light in a ProPublica report last year.


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