Last week, the Conejos County Sheriff's Office opened an investigation into La Jara, Colo., man Tom Davis at the request of state brand commissioner Chris Whitney, The Gazette, Colorado Springs, reported Wednesday.
Whitney alleged that Davis broke brand laws and illegally shipped nearly 1,000 wild horses out of Colorado. It is suspected the horses were sent to farms where they were slaughtered.
Colorado law requires a state brand inspection when livestock is sold or shipped more than 75 miles.
Records show Davis received more than 1,700 horses from the Bureau of Land Management and shipped 765. However, none of the nearly 1,000 horses that weren't shipped were in his possession, meaning they were likely shipped or sold without an inspection.
Each violation of the brand law is punishable by up to 18 months in jail and a $1,000 fine.