Third arrest in illegal Miami-Dade slaughterhouse case

08/06/2014 8:54 AM

08/06/2014 10:17 AM

A third man has been arrested in connection with an illegal West Miami-Dade slaughterhouse where pigs destined for Christmas dinner tables were shot, stabbed, beaten with sledgehammers and gutted and boiled while alive.

Yurianne “Elvin” Hervis-Gonzalez, 34, was booked late Tuesday and charged with 30 felony counts of animal cruelty.

Miami-Dade police and prosecutors believed Hervis-Gonzalez was one of the most vicious operators of the slaughterhouse, located on a farm in Northwest Miami-Dade near the edge of the Everglades.

Investigators believe he often used mallets to viciously beat live pigs before kicking them, piercing them with hooks and dragging them off to be boiled.

“He was probably the most wanted, most violent animal killers in the United States,” said Richard Couto, founder of the Animal Recovery Mission. “He was seen laughing in many of the undercover videos. He certainly took pleasure in what he was doing.”

The arrests in the slaughterhouse case came as part of protracted undercover investigation by the private group, which had offered a $10,000 reward for his capture. Posing as customers, investigators captured the alleged abuse on hidden video just before Christmas, when demand for whole pigs for roasting is high.

The shocking videos, posted on the group’s website, showed that the animals suffered greatly — some were shot and dragged across the farm with hooks in their mouths as they squealed.

According to the animal rescue group, Herviz-Gonzalez was also a “prominent operator of animal fighting” and also peddled in the illegal horse meat trade.

Miami-Dade police also arrested him on a separate charge of grand-theft auto.

The farm where he allegedly worked was shut down after a similar investigation showed similar abuses in 2009 and 2010. No arrests were made, but the owners were issued code violations.

The owners then leased it to Raul “Freaky” Fernandez, who continued to run the operation despite more code violations being levied in November.

Fernandez, the suspected chief operator of the slaughterhouse, was arrested in March. Another man, Yonisley “Pipe” Garcia, was arrested less than a month later.

Both are awaiting trial.

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