Federal judge in Lafayette sentences two in Texas tractor thefts

Two men who stole tractors in Texas and sold them in Louisiana on Thursday appeared before U.S. District Judge Richard Haik, who accepted the guilty plea of one defendant and sentenced the other to prison.

Haik sentenced Vincent L. Simmons, 48, of Porter, Texas, to 2½ years in prison and three years supervised release for his part in the scheme.

Carey Dale Reed, 40, of Conroe, Texas, pleaded guilty Wednesday to one count of conspiracy and faces up to five years in federal prison, three years supervised release and a $250,000 fine. Haik did not set a sentencing date for Reed, U.S. Attorney Stephanie Finley said in a release.

Simmons and Reed conspired from December 2010 until October 2011 to steal a John Deere mower, a CASE Skidster front-end loader and a Kubota KX 61 mini-excavator, Finley said.

“They then sold the machinery to Katherine and Ronnie Larocca, of Calcasieu Parish, who were part of the scheme,” Finley said.

State Police and the FBI investigated the case prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney James T. McManus.