June 5, 2023

Dawson County Journal

Dawson County, Nebraska

More than 1,000 head of cattle seized in Logan & Lincoln Counties animal cruelty investigation


     More than 1,000 head of Bulls, Cows and Calves have been seized in Logan and Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office’s investigations into numerous dead and abandoned livestock.   

    Forty-one-year-old Matthew Mikoloyck and his father, 75-year-old Larry Mikoloyck, both of rural North Platte are both charged in Logan County Court with six felony counts of abandoning/cruelly neglecting livestock resulting in death and 12 misdemeanor counts of cruelly mistreating an animal.  

     In Lincoln County, both men face 10  counts of abandon/cruel neglect to livestock resulting in injury or death and 10 counts of  Intentional cruelty to an animal.

    Matthew faces one additional count of misdemeanor cruelly mistreating animals for an offense on December 29, 2022.

     Both were incarcerated in the Lincoln County Detention Center and have posted bonds of 10% of $100,000. As part of their bond conditions they must have no contact with the sale barn, no contact with veterinarian and no purchase of livestock.

    As reported by NTV News, the investigation began on January 23rd as a Logan County Sheriff’s deputy was called to the rural area after a man reported there were cattle on the roadway.

A citation was issued to Larry Mikoloyck for eight head of mixed cattle, which included five calves and three cows, were located on the roadway.

     The deputy said Larry told him the cattle had originally been confined to his pastures, but that they had been out for several days. The affidavit says the deputy observed the cattle drinking from puddles in the ditch, and eating forage along the roadside and crop ground owned by other people.

The deputy said Larry was driving a pickup that contained a large round bale of corn stalks and a large road bale of forage. The affidavit says when asked, Larry told the deputy he fed the cattle the night before, but the deputy claimed there were no tracks in the snow to confirm this.

     On Feb. 1, the affidavit says the deputy was patrolling the area north of County Road 10 on Avenue 40 in rural Logan County when he observed pastures containing cattle but no visible forage. The deputy said the gates to the pastures were closed and there were no tracks in the snow that indicated anyone had been in the pastures to feed the cattle.

    The deputy said in the affidavit that he knew there was one water tank on the property where the cattle were located and that there was no evidence indicating ice was broken up from the tank to allow the cattle to have drinkable water.

     The Logan County Sheriff’s Office later obtained a warrant to search the property and took photos and video of the cattle and property. Citations in the cases indicate deputies located more than 70 head of cattle abandoned and/or cruelly neglected and eight head of dead cattle on the property.

Both men are scheduled to be arraigned in Logan County Court at 9:30 a.m. on March 14th.

    Over the last several weeks, Lincoln County Sheriff’s Deputies continued to investigate the abuse of livestock in several different areas of rural Lincoln County. During the investigation information was gained that numerous cattle, horses and other livestock were not being taken cared for. Deputies, with the help of the Nebraska Brand Inspectors Office and Nebraska State Patrol Aircraft completed an investigative search warrant to inspect the livestock on at least five sections of property under the control and operated by Larry and Matthew Mikoloyck.

Deputies and Brand Inspectors found over one hundred fifty dead cattle on the property March 1, 2023. Also observed numerous sick and dying cattle including Bulls, Cows and Calves. Deputies observed very little substantial food sources for the animals and no water to sustain most of the herd.

On March 1, 2023, Deputies arrested seventy-five-year-old Larry Mikoloyck and his son forty-one-year-old Matthew Mikoloyck, for one-hundred fifty counts of Animal Cruelty / Neglect resulting in Death, a class IIIA felony for each offense. Both were incarcerated in the Lincoln County Detention Center.

On March 2, 2023, Deputies from Lincoln County, with the help of Nebraska Brand Inspectors, served a warrant to seize all the cattle on properties under control of the Mikoloycks. Deputies were assisted by the Logan County, Thomas County Sheriff’s Office, and the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Posse. In addition, numerous subjects from Lincoln and Logan County assisted Deputies and we are grateful for their hard work.

Deputies seized and transported over one thousand: Bulls, Cows and Calves to the North Platte Sale Barn for inspection by a licensed Veterinarian. Numerous cattle had to be put down on scene as they were very sick, injured and dying.

Both men have been arraigned in Lincoln County Court and will return for preliminary hearings on March 16th at 9:00am.  

The Lincoln County Sheriff’s office says the investigation continues and additional charges for Larry and Matthew Mikoloyck will be forthcoming.

      Meanwhile, the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office has filed a petition in Lincoln County District Court seeking the forfeiture of all livestock animals that were seized by the Sheriff’s Office to be sold at public auction.   The proceeds would be applied to the cost of care and transportation of the animals.

      The petition says the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office says they have discovered at least 134 dead cattle, and at least 44 dead sheep with the majority of those not decomposed were found to be emaciated despite the presence of feed on at least one of the properties.

       Then on March 2, the Sheriff;s Office seized 1,143 live cattle and transported them to the North Platte Stockyards.  Deputies also seized 215 live sheep and left them in the care of another person pending the disposition by the Court.

Source: Nebraska Regional News