Money Laundering, Mafia and Drug Cartel Accusations in Arizona’s Cattle Theft Scandal ⋆ Politicrossing
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Money Laundering, Mafia and Drug Cartel Accusations in Arizona’s Cattle Theft Scandal

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The cattle ranching industry in Arizona is being torn apart due to corruption and crime. It has split longtime cowboys against each other. Much of it comes down to cattle rustling that has been allowed to thrive, with close to 3,000 heads of cattle stolen from at least 32 owners over the past few years. There may also be money laundering connected to the Mafia and Mexican drug cartels.   

 

The corruption became so bad the Arizona Department of Agriculture tasked an investigator to look into it a few years ago. He gave the results of his investigation, known as “Operation Cow Posse,” to Judicial Watch in 2019 as the scandal escalated. Cattle ranchers told him the scandal went all the way to the Arizona Legislature. They claimed that a powerful lobbyist helped launder millions of dollars from Pinnacle West, the parent company of electric company Arizona Public Service, through cattle growers’ bank accounts. People working at the Arizona Cattle Growers’ Association said they found files going back to 2006 showing the bank transfers. 

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The investigator believes Pinnacle West wanted to pay off powerful people in the water industry, so they laundered the money through ACGA and its related entity, the Arizona Cattlemen’s Association, in order not to show the money coming directly from them. The investigator found over $10 million he says was laundered this way, and believes there were more incidents in the past. 

 

So far, little has been done, in part due to fear that the Mafia and Mexican drug cartels are involved, and in part due to corruption in government and law enforcement. 

 

But things may be changing, due to an email that Jacquelyn Hughes, the executive director of ACGA, sent to numerous people recently questioning the strange transfer of over $10 million. She said it was unusual that “ACGA, from 2016-2018 was taking in and spending anywhere from $60,000 – $100,000 per month. When you consider that ACGA’s primary source of revenue is membership dues and that our dues range from $75.00 – $450.00 per month, it is unclear both how ACGA came into this type of money and how it was spent. Even when considering annual convention revenue, the numbers do not add up.” 

 

The scandal has resulted in multiple ongoing lawsuits, with ACGA in the middle of it. Under the leadership of Jay Whetton, who was elected president in 2018, the organization’s structure changed in order to give regular members the ability to vote on leadership. This was done in response to accusations that the ACGA was run like a fraternity by country club cowboys who had ties to the Mafia and Mexican drug cartels. The change caused a deep division in the organization, with the old guard splitting off and forming their own group. The new executive committee forged ahead, and last August, held a meeting to discuss how the Mafia and Mexican drug cartels launder money in the cattle industry. 

Some of the cattle ranchers accused Emmett Sturgill, who was at the time first vice president of the ACGA and allegedly part of the old guard, of posting information from Operation Cow Posse, which included the names of 56 suspected cow thieves, on the internet in early November. At the same time, Sturgill accused them right back of posting the information and filed lawsuits against them. 

The ADA lost interest in the case, which some cattle ranchers believe was due to corruption, and so the investigator continued on his own, unpaid, for Judicial Watch. Sturgill and his allies attempted to retake control of the ACGA in early November but failed. The old guard objected to the investigation, complaining that it was not done by law enforcement. But the new leadership defended the investigation, saying the government and law enforcement were not doing anything about it. 

The Cattle Growers’ association in Mojave County resigned its affiliation with the ACGA in disgust at the continuous scandals, and prohibited Sturgil, who lives in the county, from being a member. 

 

The ADA issued a statement a few days ago defending its poor record on investigating cattle rustling, dismissing media reports by saying official reports of thefts weren’t filed.  Some of the old guard claim the accusations of cow theft are made up, because certain ranchers want to discredit the government from inspecting cattle and move to a system of private inspectors like they have in Mexico, where corruption is rampant. 

 

But if this was true, then why did well-known Arizona cowboy Milo DeWitt, who lost over 400 head of cattle to theft, ask for assistance from the FBI, county sheriff, brand board and brand inspectors (who are under the ADA), the ADA’s top investigator, Judicial Watch, and meet with investigators several times? Or what about attorney and judge Tom Kelly in Yavapai County, who lost over 100 cows with calves, and complained to two brand inspectors? It sounds like the ADA is mincing words. 

One cowboy characterized the problem this way, “Cattle growers in Arizona have no legitimate advocates in the state legislature because the industry is split down the middle; some people siding with the old guard, many of whom are corrupt, and some with the new guard, but the truth is most ranchers don’t really know the whole true story.” 

After months of infighting and dealing with lawsuits, the immediate-past president and the first vice president, who was in line to be the next president, resigned their positions and also their membership. The ACGA will be holding its annual election of leaders in a few days. The future of the organization does not look hopeful. One longtime cattle rancher says the situation is impossible to fix, the FBI needs to step in and arrest the bad people. The longtime previous executive director of ACGA, Patrick Bray, a relative of the powerful lobbyist, had access to the bank accounts. Perhaps he can explain what went on with the money.

 

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Rachel Alexander is a conservative political writer and pundit. She is the editor of Intellectual Conservative and a recovering attorney. She was ranked by Right Wing News as one of the 50 Best Conservative Columnists from 2011-2019.



 
 
 

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THIS is the Only Thing That Will Save America – and it isn’t Trump…

America stands at a critical juncture in its history, where the need for revival has never been more urgent.

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America’s Desperate Need for Revival: A Call to Spiritual Awakening

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In the heart of every Christian beats a fervent desire for revival—a profound awakening of spiritual consciousness that transcends the bounds of human effort and transforms nations from within. As an evangelical, I firmly believe that America stands at a critical juncture in its history, where the need for revival has never been more urgent. In a world inundated with political strife, economic uncertainty, and military tensions, it is clear that these worldly solutions alone cannot heal the deep-seated spiritual malaise afflicting our nation. Instead, what America desperately needs is a revival—an outpouring of divine grace that can only be sparked by a genuine spiritual awakening.

The history of revivalism is rich with examples of how God has intervened in human affairs to revive the hearts of individuals and nations alike. From the Great Awakening of the 18th century to the Welsh Revival of 1904, these movements have demonstrated the power of God to transform societies from the inside out. As the renowned preacher Jonathan Edwards once proclaimed, “The only hope of a nation lies in the righteousness of the Church.” Indeed, the Church has a sacred duty to be a beacon of light in a world engulfed by darkness, and revival is the means by which this light can shine brightest.

The Wesley brothers, John and Charles, were instrumental figures in the First Great Awakening, preaching a message of personal salvation and holiness that ignited the hearts of countless individuals. John Wesley famously declared, “Give me one hundred preachers who fear nothing but sin and desire nothing but God, and I care not whether they be clergymen or laymen, they alone will shake the gates of Hell and set up the kingdom of Heaven upon Earth.” Such was the fervor of their conviction that it sparked a revival that swept across continents, leaving in its wake a legacy of transformed lives and renewed communities.

Similarly, George Whitefield, with his impassioned sermons and tireless evangelism, played a pivotal role in the First Great Awakening, drawing immense crowds and stirring hearts with his proclamation of the Gospel. His words still resonate today: “The soul is most affected when it is exercised with the most weighty and important matters.” In an age marked by superficiality and distraction, Whitefield’s emphasis on the eternal significance of the soul serves as a timely reminder of what truly matters.

Charles Spurgeon, the “Prince of Preachers,” carried on the legacy of revivalism into the 19th century with his powerful sermons and unwavering commitment to biblical truth. He once proclaimed, “A time will come when instead of shepherds feeding the sheep, the church will have clowns entertaining the goats.” Spurgeon’s words ring true in an era where entertainment often takes precedence over edification, reminding us of the importance of staying true to the Gospel message even in the face of opposition.

Leonard Ravenhill, a 20th-century revivalist known for his uncompromising message and fervent prayers, echoed the urgent call for revival in his generation: “Today’s church wants to be raptured from responsibility.” Ravenhill’s words serve as a sobering reminder that revival requires more than mere enthusiasm or emotionalism—it demands a willingness to confront sin and seek God’s face with humility and sincerity.

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In the midst of America’s current challenges, it is tempting to place our trust in political leaders, economic policies, or military strength to secure our future. However, history has shown time and again that such worldly solutions are ultimately fleeting and insufficient. As the psalmist declares, “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God” (Psalm 20:7). Only through a genuine spiritual awakening can America experience the lasting transformation it so desperately needs.

Revival begins with repentance — a turning away from sin and a turning towards God in humble submission. As the apostle James admonishes, “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded” (James 4:8). It is only when we humble ourselves before God and acknowledge our need for His mercy and grace that revival can take root in our hearts and spread throughout our land.

As evangelical Christians, we have a solemn responsibility to pray fervently for revival and to live lives that reflect the transformative power of the Gospel. We must be willing to stand boldly for truth in a culture that often rejects it, to love sacrificially in a world consumed by selfishness, and to proclaim the hope of Christ in a society plagued by despair. In doing so, we can be agents of revival in our homes, our churches, and our communities, trusting in the promise of Scripture that “if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14).

In conclusion, America’s need for revival has never been more urgent, and the time for spiritual awakening is now. Let us heed the call of history’s revivalists and seek God’s face with renewed fervor and dedication. May we never lose sight of the transformative power of the Gospel and the hope it offers for our nation’s future. As the hymn writer William Cowper famously penned, “Where is the blessedness I knew when first I saw the Lord? Where is the soul-refreshing view of Jesus and His word?” Let us pray earnestly for a revival of such blessedness in our time, trusting in the faithfulness of God to answer our prayers and heal our land.

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THIS is Who Is REALLY Running the Country – and the Event That Made it Possible

How did this man in the shadows get Biden into a blackmail situation?

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Who EXACTLY is running the United States of America? We all KNOW it isn’t Joe Biden, but who is really in charge? And how did this man in the shadows get Biden into a blackmail situation? Well, Chris Widener, Founder of the Red Referral Network, tells us in this short video… Enjoy and then tell us if you agree!

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