Miami-Dade Police and the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office have busted an illegal slaughterhouse run by a convicted drug trafficker, according to officials.
Investigators said they found 53-year-old Raul Fernandez, who goes by the name "Freaky," operating the slaughterhouse at 17734 NW 137th Avenue.
Undercover videos taken in December show people slaughtering the animals in an inhumane manner, the State Attorney's Office said. Witnesses told investigators the animals were beaten alive, dragged by a hook to the mouth, hit with sledge hammers to the head and drowned in boiling water.
"The horrors taking place in the property were pretty extreme," said Richard Cuoto with the Animal Recovery Mission.
Cuoto said ARM investigated the property for five months and found children as young as 8-years-old being forced to witness the illegal slaughters. He said the animals were in distress and often had little to no food or water.
The activity was also contaminating public water supplies due to improper runoff of animal blood, entrails and other waste, said Cuoto.
The animals were then sold illegally for human consumption, according to Cuoto.
Fernandez was charged with seven counts of animal cruelty, online jail records show.