Law enforcement and brand inspectors seized over 1,100 animals after finding more than 150 dead cattle on a ranch in Lincoln County, Nebraska. The seizure occurred last week after a weeks-long investigation regarding a livestock neglect case.
According to reports, Lincoln County deputies, state brand inspectors, and a Nebraska State Patrol Aircraft investigated a search warrant to inspect five sections of property managed by Larry E. Mikoloyck and his son, Matthew J. Mikoloyck.
What law enforcement found during the March 1 investigation was 150 dead cattle amid other sick and dying livestock. Multiple sources state that the there was little food and no water available to the cattle.
The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office published information stating that the day after the investigation, deputies and brand inspectors served a warrant to seize all livestock on the property. Neighboring law enforcement and producers stepped up to help transport cows, calves, and bulls to the North Platte Sale Barn for veterinary inspection.
“Numerous cattle had to be put down on scene, as they were very sick, injured and dying,” the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office said.
The Lincoln County Sheriffs Department posted that deputies arrested Larry Mikoloyck, 75, and Matthew Mikoloyck, 41. The department states that the two were charged with 150 counts of intentional animal cruelty and neglect resulting in death (a Class IIIA felony for each offence).
The two were incarcerated in the Lincoln County Detention Center. Rural Radio reports that both have posted $100,000 bonds. As part of their bond conditions, they must have no contact with the sale barn, no contact with veterinarians, and no purchase of livestock.
Class IIIA felonies in Nebraska are punishable by up to three years in prison and nine to 18 months of post-release supervision.
The investigation continues today and additional charges against the Mikoloycks are expected to be forthcoming. Both men are scheduled to be arraigned in Logan County Court on March 14.
According to NTV, the original affidavit for a search warrant was made on Jan. 23 after a deputy was called to the area of Avenue 70 and Road 10 in Logan County because of cattle on the road. Reports state that five calves and three cows were found, drinking from puddles in ditches, and eating forage on the roadside. Other sources state that neighbors had made complaints about the Mikolocyck’s cattle crossing fences to access neighboring pastures.