Guns, Credit Cards Stolen From Wyoming Rancher Accused Of Starving Animals

A Shawnee, Wyoming, rancher accused of starving five confined animals alleged had guns, credit cards and other things stolen from his home, according to Converse County District Court records.

Clair McFarland

June 27, 20245 min read

Converse County, Wyoming.
Converse County, Wyoming. (Jimmy Emerson Photo via Flickr)

A 32-year-old Wyoming man is accused of robbing a 58-rancher shortly after the rancher was cited on suspicion of starving five animals.

Court documents filed Friday in Converse County District Court accuse Glenrock resident Kyle Nolan Stotsky, 30, of stealing guns and credit cards from Shawnee, Wyoming, rancher Joe Bright, 58, in the days after Bright was charged for allegedly starving five confined animals.

Bright’s own Facebook posts leading up to his Nov. 7, 2023, animal-starvation citations stated that four of his horses had just died while a fifth was sickened, though Bright had claimed that someone poisoned them.

One month later, Stotsky, who had reportedly dated Bright’s daughter prior, stole several guns and credit cards from Bright’s home, court documents allege.

Suspecting The Ex-Boyfriend

Converse County Sheriff’s Lt. Benjamin Peech first responded to the burglary case Dec. 9, 2023, according to an evidentiary affidavit filed in Stotsky’s case.

Bright told the investigator that his wallet, firearms and firearms accessories were gone from his home.

The missing firearms and gear allegedly included:

  • A Bushmaster AR10 .308 rifle with a scope.
  • A Remington 700 VS rifle with a scope.
  • A Kimber 45ACP Raptor Ultra Carry pistol.
  • A limited-edition Beretta 96 .40 S&W Brigadier Border Marshall pistol.
  • A Ruger M77 .220 Swift bull barrel rifle with a. scope.
  • A Shepard scope for a .308.
  • A FN 509 9mm pistol.

Bright also found his wallet had been stolen from his dresser and had contained various cards in his name, his driver’s license and concealed carry permit, and a checkbook, the affidavit says.  

He reportedly called his credit card companies to cancel the cards and found there’d been activity on two of them:

Someone had reportedly used his Sam’s Club credit card at an ATM in Wellington, Colorado, on Dec. 9, trying to withdraw $500, but the ATM declined the action. A Capitol One Platinum Visa card had been used at The Buckle in Foothills Fashion Mall in Fort Collins, Colorado, that same day to buy $866.55 worth of merchandise, the affidavit says.

Bright believed the burglar was Kyle Stotsky. Bright said Stotsky had dated Bright’s daughter for several years and had lived in his home for months. Stotsky had helped Bright set the security surveillance system inside and outside the residence and had told Bright how to bypass the system, the document relates from Bright’s statements.

Stotsky had handled most of the guns that were stolen while he was still dating Bright’s daughter, Bright reportedly told the investigator.

White Male, Late 20s

Peech called the Buckle store and spoke to an employee, who said the buyer had tried to use a Buckle credit card in a different name, which was declined, then the subject used Bright’s Capitol One card to complete the purchase.

Buckle’s legal department later identified the cardholder of the Buckle credit card as Kyle Stotsky, and presented investigators with surveillance footage from the encounter.

Converse County investigators “have dealt with Stotsky on numerous occasions in person,” Peech noted, and they reportedly found the video subject’s build, face, facial hair and pine tree-shaped arm tattoo all consistent with Stotsky’s appearance.

The branch manager of the bank associated with the ATM, meanwhile, described the suspect from the ATM as a white male in his late 20s or early 30s. She described his attire at length, which Peech said matched the attire of the man in the Buckle video. 

And A Meth Pipe, Allegedly

Peech later searched Stotsky’s home in Glenrock and found a card with Joe Bright’s name on it, a multi-colored vest “very very consistent” with the one Stotsky allegedly bought at the Buckle, a Beretta 40 S&W Brigadier Border Marshal Pistol, an FN 9 mm pistol, a Ruger .220 Swift rifle with a bull barrel and scope – and a pipe commonly used to smoke methamphetamine, the affidavit says.

On Dec. 13, the second investigator told Peech she’d field tested the pipe and it tested presumptive positive for methamphetamine.

In Wyoming, it is a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison to steal a gun, no matter the gun’s value. But it is a greater felony – punishable by between five years and 25 years in prison – to break into a building or vehicle to steal a gun.

The Converse County Attorney’s Office charged Stotsky with six counts under the greater felony, aggravated burglary, and with one count of burglary.

The prosecutor also charged him with one fraud/forgery charge, two counts of using another’s credit card and one count of possessing methamphetamine.

The Second Arrest

Stotsky was first arrested Dec. 20, but was released on bond nine days later, his court file indicates.

Circuit Court Judge Clark Allan revoked Stotsky’s bond April 9, after Stotsky reportedly interfered with a police officer, but then reinstated Stotsky’s bond for $30,000.

Meanwhile, The Animal Starvation Case

Meanwhile, Bright’s animal starvation case has dragged on for eight months with multiple hearings rescheduled in Douglas Circuit Court.

He has a case review hearing set for June 28.


Clair McFarland can be reached at

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Clair McFarland

Crime and Courts Reporter