Second Man Arrested in Miami-Dade Illegal Slaughterhouse Operation

A second man has been arrested in the operation of an illegal slaughterhouse in Miami-Dade, authorities said Wednesday.

A second man has been arrested in the operation of an illegal slaughterhouse in Miami-Dade where authorities authorities say pigs were shot, stabbed, beaten with a sledgehammer and gored while they were still alive.

Yonisley Garcia, 31, is facing seven counts of animal cruelty and a charge of conducting business without a license, Miami-Dade jail records showed.

The arrest comes about a month after the arrest of Raul "Freaky" Fernandez, who is also charged with operating the illegal slaughterhouse, which also processed sheep and goats, at 17732 Northwest 137th Avenue.

Undercover videos taken in December showed people slaughtering the animals in an inhumane manner at the address, 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.

Richard Couto, an investigator with the Animal Recovery Mission, called the abuse discovered during the five-month investigation “probably the worst in the history of United States.”

Cuoto said ARM 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.

Investigators relied on drones to help record the happenings at the property during the five-month investigation, Cuoto said.

“Having drones and being able to be a distance away from the operations, getting undercover videos and still pictures, is invaluable to our safety,” he said. 

The activity was also contaminating public water supplies due to improper runoff of animal blood, entrails and other waste, said Couto.

The animals were then sold illegally for human consumption, according to Couto.

Garcia was being held without bond on a warrant Wednesday and it was unknown whether he has an attorney.

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