Two South Florida men charged with illegally slaughtering swine and selling the meat for human consumption were indicted in federal court in Miami Friday.
Gelio Hernandez, 50, of Hialeah, and 46-year-old Angel Busurot, of Miami, were arrested on August 10 and charged with the inhumane slaughter of swine and the sale of uninspected swine meat, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
According to the indictment, Hernandez and Busurot were the owners and operators of Finca El Novillo, an unincorporated business on Northwest 122nd Avenue in Miami, where they engaged in the commercial slaughter of swine and goats.
The two processed, handled, stored and sold the meat from the site for human consumption despite the fact that the meat was prepared, packed and held under unsanitary conditions that may have caused it to be contaminated, the indictment said.
None of the meat that was sold was inspected or approved as required by the Federal Meat Inspection Act, the indictment said.
The indictment also alleged that on Nov. 23, 2011, Hernandez and Bururot slaughtered and handled swine without first rendering the swine insensible to pain, as required by the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act.
"These are brutal crimes that are going on in close to, I would say, a thousand properties in the state of Florida," said Richard Couto, the founder and head investigator with the Animal Recovery Mission.
Hernandez and Busurot, who were given the possibility to pond bond on Friday, both face up to three years in prison on each of the five charges they face.
Hernandez’s attorney had no comment. Busurot’s attorney could not be reached for comment.