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  • Writer's pictureBrian Foley

Houston Criminal Defense Attorney - Texas Code of Criminal Procedure Art. 2.125 Special Rangers

Article 2.125 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure covers Special Rangers of Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association. Did you know that the Director of the Department of Public Safety may appoint up to 50 special rangers employed by the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association to aid law enforcement in the investigation of the theft of livestock! Well you do now.


These special rangers are empowered to make arrests just like a regular commissioned peace officer. The Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (SCRA) is a trade organization that represents cattle producers and ranchers in Texas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico. It is one of the largest cattle-ranching organizations in the United States. The main purpose of the SCRA is to promote and protect the interests of its members, who are primarily involved in raising and caring for cattle. This includes advocating for policies that support the cattle industry, working to prevent cattle theft and other crimes against ranchers, and providing education and training for its members on topics relevant to their businesses.


There have been several famous cattle theft cases in Texas history. Cattle theft has been a problem in the state since its early days, when cattle were one of the most valuable commodities and essential to the economy. Here are a few famous cattle theft cases from Texas history:

  • The Great Cattle Theft of 1866: This was one of the largest cattle theft cases in Texas history, involving the theft of thousands of head of cattle from ranchers in the state. The stolen cattle were driven to Kansas and sold for a significant profit, and the case was widely covered in the press.

  • The King Ranch Cattle Rustling Case of the 1930s: This was a famous case of cattle rustling on the King Ranch, one of the largest ranches in Texas. The case involved the theft of hundreds of head of cattle and was widely covered in the press, leading to arrests and convictions of the thieves.

  • The Tumbleweed Smith Cattle Rustling Ring of the 1970s: This was a notorious case of cattle rustling that involved the theft of thousands of head of cattle from ranchers in Texas and surrounding states. The case was widely covered in the press and resulted in arrests and convictions of several individuals involved in the theft ring.

Art. 2.125. SPECIAL RANGERS OF TEXAS AND SOUTHWESTERN CATTLE RAISERS ASSOCIATION. (a) The director of the Department of Public Safety may appoint up to 50 special rangers who are employed by the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association to aid law enforcement agencies in the investigation of the theft of livestock or related property. (b) Except as provided by Subsection (c) of this article, a special ranger may make arrests and exercise all authority given peace officers under this code when necessary to prevent or abate the commission of an offense involving livestock or related property. (c) A special ranger may not issue a traffic citation for a violation of Chapter 521, Transportation Code, or Subtitle C, Title 7, Transportation Code. (d) A special ranger is not entitled to state benefits normally provided by the state to a peace officer. (e) A person may not serve as a special ranger unless: (1) the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association submits the person's application for appointment and certification as a special ranger to the director of the Department of Public Safety and to the executive director of the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement; (2) the director of the department issues the person a certificate of authority to act as a special ranger; (3) the executive director of the commission determines that the person meets minimum standards required of peace officers by the commission relating to competence, reliability, education, training, morality, and physical and mental health and issues the person a license as a special ranger; and (4) the person has met all standards for certification as a peace officer by the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement. (f) For good cause, the director of the department may revoke a certificate of authority issued under this article and the executive director of the commission may revoke a license issued under this article. Termination of employment with the association, or the revocation of a special ranger license, shall constitute an automatic revocation of a certificate of authority to act as a special ranger. (g) The Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association is liable for any act or omission by a person serving as a special ranger for the association that is within the person's scope of employment. Neither the state nor any political subdivision or agency of the state shall be liable for any act or omission by a person appointed as a special ranger. All expenses incurred by the granting or revocation of a certificate of authority to act as a special ranger shall be paid by the association. (h) The director of the department and the executive director of the commission shall have the authority to promulgate rules necessary for the effective administration and performance of the duties and responsibilities delegated to them by this article. Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 209 (H.B. 1695), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2005. Amended by: Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., Ch. 93 (S.B. 686), Sec. 2.03, eff. May 18, 2013.


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