Fourth arrest made in Homestead slaughter farm case

A fourth man was arrested Tuesday in connection with a raid last week on an illegal slaughter farm in the Homestead area.

Jesus Navarro, 51, is facing one felony count of animal cruelty for an incident that took place Dec. 24, 2012, at VIP Animal Sales, Southwest 257th Street and Krome Avenue.

Friday’s raid, involving multiple state and local agencies, came after eight months of undercover work by independent investigators from Miami Beach-based Animal Recovery Mission (ARM). Founder Richard Couto brought the evidence to the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office, which issued the arrest warrants.

The warrants detail acts of inhumane and unsanitary slaughter in an unseen part of the farm behind its legal animal sales business. Rescuers on Friday took away about 75 animals, including a horse, a rabbit, dozens of fowl and pigeons.

The men picked up Friday are Andre P. Martinez, 45, and Juan M. Bazan, 51, who’ve been released on bond. Daniel Lombana, 36, remains jailed without bond at Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center, because he was out on bond for another felony — passing counterfeit money — when Miami-Dade police arrested him.

Information will be added to this story as it becomes available.

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