A West Jordan horse trainer has begun serving a one-year prison term for stealing horses.
Dennis R. Eller, 42, originally charged with 10 counts of third-degree felony theft, was found guilty last month on two counts. Third District Judge John Rokich Monday gave Eller two choices: one year in Utah State Prison or a year in the Salt Lake County Jail. Eller chose prison.An investigation by the Salt Lake County sheriff's office and the U.S. Department of Agriculture implicated Eller in the thefts of 22 registered quarter horses, worth more than $50,000, that were taken from pastures in Salt Lake County in 1987.
The original charges alleged Eller sold 10 of the horses to buyers in Utah and Weber counties. The remaining 12 were believed sold to slaughterhouses, said Sheriff's Detective Jack Hill.