North Iowa man arrested in 150-pig theft case


Mary Pieper, Globe Gazette (IA)

Dec 3, 2018


LAKE MILLS | The alleged accomplice of a man who has pleaded guilty to stealing 150 pigs from a hog confinement near Lake Mills has been arrested on charges of felony first-degree theft and third-degree burglary.


David Cortez Jr., 35, Lake Mills, made his initial appearance Monday in Winnebago County District Court. 


He was arrested on a warrant Nov. 24 in Glencoe, Minnesota.


Co-defendant Robert Lee Morales, 20, Benito, Texas, formerly of Buffalo Center, pleaded guilty on Nov. 6 to first-degree theft. His sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 18.


The theft of pigs from the Christensen Farms hog confinement operation in the 40500 block of 200th Avenue took place at 11:40 a.m. Nov. 4, 2017, according to a criminal complaint.


The Winnebago County Sheriff's Office received a report of pigs squealing in the 100 block of First Avenue East in Thompson.


A deputy who responded to the scene reported seeing approximately 50 pigs in a snowmobile trailer with sides on it that had a flat tire.


The deputy knocked on all the apartment doors in the building the trailer was parked in front of, but no one would answer, according to the complaint.


The deputy sat a couple of blocks away to see if anyone would leave the building. When he came back 10 minutes later, the pigs were gone, according to the complaint.


The trailer was still there, but two vehicles that were at the scene earlier were missing, the complaint stated.


Later that day the deputy spoke to a representative from Christensen Farms, who told him...