GAINESVILLE, Fla. -

U.S. authorities say a man suspected in a north Florida cattle theft has been arrested in Mexico.

Deputy U.S. Marshal Bryon Carroll tells The Gainesville Sun that "it's a case of good old-fashioned cattle rustling, with a modern twist."

Students sold the 146 cows through the Suwannee River Fair livestock auction in March. The Levy County Sheriff's Office says Ronald Ryan Shepard Jr. delivered the cattle to Illinois as scheduled but took the $180,000 payment for himself and disappeared.

Carroll says the scheme matched a string of cattle thefts nationwide.

The fair board took out a loan to pay the students so they could pay their feed suppliers.

U.S. authorities found Shepard in Mexico last month. Carroll says Shepard is in federal custody facing charges in multiple jurisdictions.