The verdict is in for Jorge Garcia, owner and operator of Rancho Garcia, an illegal slaughter farm in southern Florida. Jurors found Garcia guilty on two counts of animal cruelty with intent to kill and two counts of animal cruelty by not rendering the animals insensible to pain prior to slaughter. His sentencing will take place in 30 days, during which time he’ll remain in jail.
Rancho Garcia was one of three illegal slaughter operations raided last October by Palm Beach County law enforcement agencies and the Animal Recovery Mission (ARM). Video evidence collected by undercover ARM agents documented proof of inhumane animal handling and slaughter practices. The video was collected using cameras hidden in a watch, water bottle and a car alarm “clicker.” For further details of those atrocities, click here.
Defense Attorney Andrew Stine made repeated attempts to have the video evidence thrown out, but to no avail. Prosecutor Judith Arco was allowed to show the video in court, and the 6 jurors reportedly asked to view it a second time during deliberations.
Jorge Garcia’s employee, Rafael Ramirez, faces charges of illegally selling horsemeat and awaits trial.
For more information about ARM’s founder, Richard Couto, read here.