PAWNEE COUNTY, Kan. (KSNW) — Two Larned men accused of stealing cattle in Pawnee Rock in Dec. 2021 have been bound over after a judge deemed there was sufficient evidence provided by the State on Tuesday.

According to a news release, 42-year-old Ruben Lopez-Lupercio and 24-year-old Elian Gomez-Saldana are accused of felony theft of property worth between $1,500 and $25,000.

The two men are accused of stealing 11 heifers. During a preliminary hearing, evidence showed an investigation was started after a State Cattle Brand Inspector recognized feedlot finished heifers were attempted to be sold at the La Crosse sale barn on Dec. 10, 2021.

Prosecutors said the Attorney General’s Livestock/Brand investigation unit determined some of the heifers were branded with a brand registered to a Pawnee County feedlot.

The Pawnee County Sheriff’s Department assisted, and Lopez-Lupercio and Gomez-Saldana were identified and arrested on Jan. 6, 2022, after the feedlot ownership requested to press charges.

Following the hearing, the judge determined there was sufficient evidence to support the charge, and the two suspects were bound over to the higher court.

Arraignment is scheduled for Sept. 15.