A Colorado couple was arrested by the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office for embezzlement and livestock theft at Bear Wallow Ranch near Glenwood Springs after an eight-month investigation.
The ranch known as Bear Wallow Ranch, a property up Canyon Creek, is principally owned by the CEO of Waffle House Inc., Joe Rogers Jr., and his wife.
The couple-suspects, 53-year-old Charles Zane Farris and 51-year-old Charla Farris, were arrested Tuesday. Both had been serving the ranch for more than 25 years.
The arrest report said that authorities allege that the total amount in money and assets the couple had stolen from 2012 to 2016 was more than $500,000. Said figure still “does not include documented thefts as far back as the early 2000s” and it doesn’t include potentially stolen horses and cattle.
A sheriff investigator who wrote in an arrest affidavit said: “The contention is that the (Farrises) have stolen in excess of ($1 million) during the course of their employment with Bear Wallow Ranch.”
The couple were arrested on felony charges of theft between $100,000 and $1 million, filing a false tax return, computer crime between $5,000 and $20,000 and computer crime between $2,000 and $5,000. Their arresting charges also included misdemeanors of failure to file return or pay tax and computer crime between $750 and $2,000.
The couple’s arrest warrants pegged the bonds at $50,000 each. And the couple was not listed as Garfield County jail inmates by about 10:20 a.m. Wednesday.
After concluding eight months of investigating, authorities conducted a warranted search of the couple's residence south of Silt.
The sheriff’s press release also said that law enforcement had received allegations of theft, embezzlement of money, livestock and farm and ranch equipment from the ranch.
The sheriff said in the statement that: "The investigation yielded information that the alleged thefts have taken place over the course of many years and have reached into the hundreds of thousands of dollars.”
The operation also included the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Glenwood Springs office and the Rifle and Meeker brand inspectors.