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Blue Christmas: Cody Easterday will likely spend his Christmas in federal prison

A man walks with his head down in Yakima, Washington after his sentencing hearing.
Megan Farmer
Cody Easterday walks with family members from the Federal Courthouse on South Third Street after being sentenced to 11 years, on Tuesday, October 4, 2022, in Yakima.

A big-time Northwest rancher has snatched himself a last two-week extension of freedom, before he goes into federal prison.

Cody Easterday was due to report to federal prison on Dec. 2nd. But, the day before, he got a last-minute two week reprieve. In his order, the judge did not indicate why Easterday is receiving this new extension, but the judge did say this is the last one. Easterday is set to report Dec. 16th. This comes after several delays because of a separate complex bankruptcy case involving Easterday Ranches and Farms.

Cody Easterday was convicted back in October on a charge of wire fraud for a 244-million-dollar cattle swindle against Tyson Fresh Meats and another company. Easterday made up a fictional herd of hundreds of thousands of cattle, forward billing Tyson for their purchase and feeding. It’s one of the largest modern-day cattle rustlings in U.S. history.

When he goes in, the rancher will start serving an 11-year term, and he will likely be behind bars for Christmas.

Anna King calls Richland, Washington home and loves unearthing great stories about people in the Northwest. She reports for the Northwest News Network from a studio at Washington State University, Tri-Cities. She covers the Mid-Columbia region, from nuclear reactors to Mexican rodeos.