Cherokee Nation Marshals make an arrest this week in the animal cruelty case of buffalo.


TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – The Cherokee Nation Marshal Service has arrested two men in connection with animal cruelty in the Cherokee Nation Reservation. Both men face felony charges in Cherokee Nation District Court.

Gunner Lee Richards, 25, a citizen of the Chickasaw Nation, of Broken Bow, was arrested Wednesday near an RV park in Owasso.

Tryston Hunter Needham, 29, a citizen of the Choctaw Nation, of Pittsburg County, was arrested in Tahlequah Thursday.

“The Cherokee Nation continues to uphold its public safety obligations under the historic McGirt decision and will continue to work with our state and local partners to ensure those who commit crimes are prosecuted,” Cherokee Nation Attorney General Chad Harsha said.

Both Needham and Richards have been charged in the Cherokee Nation District Court with two felony counts of cruelty to animals and one felony count of grand larceny for the November 14, 2023, shooting of two buffalo in Owasso.  

Needham and Richards have been released from jail after posting a $50,000 bond. 

The investigation was conducted jointly with the Cherokee Nation Marshal Service and the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture in cooperation with the Choctaw Nation. 

Download video of the arrest here.