A 70-year-old Miami man is under arrest after an investigation by several agencies – including the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office and the U.S. Department of Agriculture – found he was allegedly selling illegal horse meat.
Manuel Coto-Martinez was arrested on two felony counts, including the unlawful sale of horse meat. On November 10th, an undercover Miami-Dade Police Department officer acting on a tip from an informant, purchased 20 pounds of meat for $140 from Coto-Martinez at his property off NW 182nd Street and 132nd Avenue, authorities said.
Subsequent tests showed the meat was indeed from a horse.
Coto-Martinez's brother, Lazaro Coto, said it's all a lie. He said they've worked in Miami for 50 years and called it a false alarm.
Police determined the meat was not marked or stamped as “horse meat for human consumption” and it was not acquired from a licensed slaughterhouse. Currently, there are no facilities licensed to slaughter horses for human consumption in America.
Coto-Martinez faces a mandatory one year sentence and $300,000 fine for selling the horse meat and could face up to five years in prison for year count.