Probation, restitution ordered in 2014 cattle theft, misbranding case

— Probation and restitution were ordered for a Slate Creek man sentenced last week regarding a 2016 cattle theft and misbranding case.

James P. Marek, 41, was sentenced Aug. 21 on a felony charge of altering marks and brands on livestock, and two additional felonies of grand theft, and branding livestock owned by another were dismissed. As part of his sentence, Marek was placed on unsupervised probation for two years and was ordered to pay $3,187.89 in restitution — at $150 per month – and $224.50 in court costs.

Judgment was withheld by District Judge Gregory FitzMaurice in the matter, meaning if terms of the sentencing were completed satisfactorily, the case would be dismissed. However, if terms of the sentence are violated, Marek could face serving up to five years in prison and pay a $50,000 fine.

As reported in the Idaho County Free Press last November, Marek was charged for a series of incidents committed in 2014 when he was working as a buying agent for Dion Van Well of Watertown, S.D. An Idaho County Sheriff’s Office (ICSO) investigation found Marek had branded six of Van Well’s cattle with his brand and sold these after presenting false information to obtain a brand inspection.

ICSO Deputy Scott Paulsen investigated the case, in cooperation with Idaho State Police Brand Inspector Jim Kennedy. Idaho County Prosecutor Kirk MacGregor handled the case. Defense attorney MacKenzie Welch represented Marek.

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