Det. Mario Fernandez of the Agricultural Patrol found knives, bolt cutters and a machete in a box-like alcove behind the animal cages, abutting a shack containing dirty sofas and a filthy kitchen.
Tacked to a kitchen wall he found what appeared to be an order list for $830 worth of animals, plus a $50 delivery charge.
Fernandez said the suspects told him they knew of the previous week’s raid, at VIP Animal Sales, Krome Avenue and Southwest 257th Street, and “were aware that police were coming’’ to the area.
“But they were surprised that they were next,’’ Fernandez said. “They denied any slaughter was going on.’’
Also on hand during Friday’s raid: a Miami-Dade Code Enforcement officer who compiled a lengthy list of violations.
The incident seemed like a rerun of the VIP raid, during which police served warrants also based on Animal Recovery Mission undercover videos.
Of four suspects arrested in the VIP raid, two, Daniel Lombana, 36, and Jesus Navarro, 51, remain in custody. Andre P. Martinez, 45, and Juan M. Bazan, 51, bonded out of jail.
Agricultural Patrol Lt. Sheree Di Bernardo said that although the raids can’t stop all illegal slaughter in the area, “we’re getting a handle on it. We want to put them out of business.’’
She praised Animal Recovery Mission for collecting the evidence and veteran prosecutor Susan Dannelly for “working tirelessly putting the warrants together.’’
Dannelly, who prosecuted the notorious “Baby Lollipops’’ case, which sent a mother to Death Row for the 1990 murder of her son, said that helpless animals deserve the same compassion as helpless humans.
“All the work is worth it because I perceive my job as speaking for people who have no voice, no power, no ability to fight to protect themselves, and animals are even more helpless, totally at the mercy of everyone they encounter.’’
She said through cruelty prosecutors, “we hope to educate people about how wrong it is. It’s a life.’’