Man gets probation for stealing pigs in northern Iowa

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Two piglets, image from MGN

FOREST CITY, Iowa (AP) — One of two men accused of stealing around 150 pigs in northern Iowa has been sentenced.

Winnebago County District Court records say 21-year-old Robert Morales, of Thompson, Iowa, on Tuesday was given 10 years in prison, suspended, and five years of probation and fined $1,000. He also was ordered to make restitution of nearly $22,000.

The pigs were reported stolen Nov. 4, 2017, from a Christensen Farms operation near Lake Mills. A court document says a sheriff’s deputy checking a report in Thompson the next day about pigs squealing discovered a vehicle hooked to a trailer with pigs inside parked near an apartment. The vehicle eventually was linked to Morales and the trailer to his co-defendant, 35-year-old David Cortez Jr.

Cortez has pleaded not guilty to theft and burglary and is scheduled to go on trial April 10.

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