Former Buffalo Center man receives suspended prison sentence in pig theft case

LAKE MILLS — It’s a suspended sentence and paying over $21,000 in restitution for a former Buffalo Center man accused of stealing 150 pigs from a confinement near Lake Mills in 2017.

21-year-old Robert Morales, whose current residence is San Benito Texas, was accused of stealing the pigs from a Christensen Farms confinement in the late morning hours of November 4th 2017.

The Winnebago County Sheriff’s Department had received a call after midnight on November 5th of pigs squealing in the 100 block of First Avenue East in Thompson, and a deputy who went to investigate reported seeing about 50 pigs in a snowmobile trailer with sides on it with a flat tire. The trailer was later impounded. Trail camera footage near the confinement led authorities to a vehicle belonging to Morales.

Morales was charged with first-degree theft and third-degree burglary. As part of a plea deal with prosecutors, Morales pleaded guilty to the first-degree theft charge with the third-degree burglary charge being dismissed.

District Judge DeDra Schroeder this week sentenced Morales to a ten-year prison sentence that was suspended and placed him on five years probation. He was also ordered to pay a $1000 fine and $21,882 in restitution.

A co-defendant in the case, 35-year-old David Cortez Junior of Lake Mills, is currently scheduled to go on trial on April 10th.