Cease-and-Desist Against Rancho La Herradura Was Two Years Ago

A Shelbyville Times-Gazette article that ran this week was technically correct when it said a Bedford County-based Mexican rodeo suspected of illegal activity has received a county cease-and-desist order.

But one might infer from reading the article that county officials delivered the cease-and-desist order this week.

They did not.

County officials, in fact, wrote that order two years ago, in November of 2016, said the county’s Planning and Zoning Director Chris White.

“It was obviously a surprise to me when I saw that in the article,” White told The Tennessee Star, referring to the Bell Buckle-based Rancho La Herradura and the local newspaper’s story about it.

As reported, Bedford County commissioners suspect the venue of permitting drug deals, prostitution, gambling, and human trafficking, among other things. One commissioner has complained to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents.

“Of course, the article never actually reports the date of the cease and desist. It is accurate that I did issue a cease and desist, but the way that they framed the story told it differently that one might want it told. I’m not going to say the story is inaccurate. I did issue a cease-and-desist, but I wrote it in 2016.”

White said Rancho La Herradura officials eventually met compliance standards.

As reported, county officials said in 2016 the venue did not qualify for an agricultural exemption from zoning rules, according to The Times-Gazette.

Rancho La Herradura Inc. officials said they engage in agricultural activity, specifically agri-tourism, and state laws protect them from zoning restrictions, the paper reported.

“But county officials said Rancho La Herradura did not board, train or care for any animals on its property, and never built any sort of barn or agricultural facility,” the paper said.

Venue officials, as reported, cancelled a horse racing event last weekend because of a recent article we published about them.

The commissioner went on to say an Omar Edgar Torres-Rangel, possibly known as Edgar R. Torres, attended a rodeo there late last month.

Torres-Rangel allegedly drove drunk afterwards and killed a 29-year-old Bedford County woman, Keri King. Torres-Rangel was reportedly injured. Members of the Tennessee Highway Patrol reportedly transported him to Vanderbilt.

As reported, what happened to Torres-Rangel afterwards is unknown. He is no longer a patient at Vanderbilt.

Torres-Rangel is an illegal immigrant, according to sources.

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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to [email protected]





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