Miami Man Arrested for Selling Horse Meat

Despite stricter laws, horse butchers are still selling illegal meat

By Todd Wright
|  Thursday, Aug 26, 2010  |  Updated 2:43 PM EDT
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Another Miami-Dade man has been arrested and accused of trying to sell illegal horse meat to undercover cops.

Orestes Gonzalez, 43, is the fifth person to be arrested in the past year for trying to sell horse meat, which usually can go for as much as $20 per pound on the black market.

He allegedly agreed to sell 150 pounds of horse meat at the bargain basement price of $9 per pound. Gonzalez told the undercover police to meet him at a ranch where he had stashed the meat. That's when they busted him for the unlawful sale of horse meat.

If convicted, Gonzalez will spend a minimum of a year in prison under a new law that created stiffer penalties for equine killers.

Gonzalez's arrest comes just before a the beginning of the trial for two teenagers accused of killing horses and harvesting their flesh for profit. Luis Cordero and Santiago Cabrera face animal cruelty and armed burglary charges for killing a race horse.

During a pre-trial hearing, angry members of the horse and animal activist communities came out in protest and vowed to be at every day of the trial. The groups have asked prosecutors to go for the strictest punishment allowable for the offenses.

The pair were caught in a major crackdown on horse killings after two dozen horses were found slaughtered across South Florida. It's unclear if Gonzalez is linked to any of the killings and police are investigating where he got the horse meat.

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