2 South Miami-Dade men arrested for selling horse meat
Two Miami-Dade men were arrested for selling horse meat, but police say the case does not appear related to the recent killings of almost 20 horses.
BY JENNIFER LEBOVICH
Police investigating a rash of horse slaughters now know the going rate for someone’s butchered pet: $5 a pound.
That’s what an undercover cop recently paid for the meat at a Southwest Miami-Dade ranch.
The sale led to the arrest of two men on Tuesday.
But police do not think the case is related to other recent arrests following a spate of horse slaughters in Miami-Dade and Broward.
Miami-Dade police arrested Roberto Aguedo Chavez, 53, the owner of the ranch at 19890 SW 180th St., and worker Ricardo Olivarez, 45.
Chavez kept several horses at the ranch, and police think “he was killing his own horses and selling them for the profit,” said Detective Edna Hernandez, a Miami-Dade police spokeswoman.
Acting on a tip, an undercover officer went to the ranch and paid $50 for 10 pounds of horse meat, which the men stored in an outdoor freezer.
In the freezer, police also found about 240 pounds ofsuspected horse meat, which will be sent to the U.S. Department of Agriculture labs to confirm the source, Hernandez said.
The same tests were performed on the 10 pounds of meat purchased by detectives.
Both men are charged with doing business without a license, police said. It is illegal to sell horse meat.
The arrests come at a time when the equine community in South Florida is on edge over the slaughter of nearly 20 horses since January.
BLACK MARKETPolice have said the horse killings may be linked to a black market demand for the meat, and have charged two Hialeah teenagers with animal cruelty and theft in some of the deaths.
Miami-Dade police on Wednesday said they have not found any evidence that this latest case is related to the recent horse killings.
South Florida SPCA investigators examined 11 other horses on the ranch but found no signs of abuse, so the animals were not removed, police said.
Last month, two teens were arrested over the butchering of horses at separate Miami-Dade ranches.
MULTIPLE CHARGESSantiago Cabrera, 19, and Luis Miguel Cordero, 18, are facing multiple charges, including killing a registered breed horse.
Jeanette Jordan, president of the South Florida SPCA, which has been working with authorities on the horse slaughters, praised the “great police work.”
“The more arrests there are, [the] louder the message goes out that this is not acceptable,” she said.
Miami Herald writer Elinor J. Brecher contributed to this report.
My thoughts: Who knew how much horse meat sold for! Here I was thinking it was only 50 cents a pound these days. Has the price of meat gone up since slaughter was banned in the US? One would imagine so with economics being the ay they are. $5 a pound though! I guess my horse is worth a lot more money than I thought 😛 (I am just teasing because the new boarder once told me to kill Gen for meat because then he would be useful…I think of my horse like a model though. He is too attractive to have to do anything else besides look good). And can you imagine raising horses to be killed? In this article it even says that the horses were in good shape. Horses need a lot of care so those men should have formed some sort of attachment to them, and yet they killed them anyway. And how many pound of meat could you possible get from one horse? It sounds like there was a lot of meat in that freezer. So what do you all think? Anyone else glad that Miami and Wellington are hours apart? I know I am!