Horse Slaughter Kingpin Arrested in Florida

Discarded horse head from illegal butchering.

Miami-Dade, Florida – Undercover agents, posing as a husband and wife with an anemic child, purchased 20 lbs of horse meat from Manuel Coto-Martinez for $140 at his home.  The meat was tested by the federal Food Safety and Inspection Services to confirm it was horse meat.  Once confirmed positive, authorities obtained an arrest warrant and arrested Coto-Matinez, 70.  He is charged with selling of horse meat and illegal use of a communication device. He is facing multiple felonies with each carrying a 5 year sentence.  Police spent hours searching through Coto-Martinez’ ranch on Friday.

Manuel Coto-Martinez
Manuel Coto-Martinez

“The collaboration between my office, MDPD and the USDA has been essential in the first successful infiltration at this level, into the extremely close-knit and secretive world of an illegal horse meat operation in Miami-Dade County,” State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said in a statement. “This unregulated slaughter of horses and uninspected meat presents a real safety and food security issue that puts lives in jeopardy and our agricultural community at risk.”

The lucrative world of illegal horse meat has plagued Florida for years.  Horses are routinely illegally butchered, often stolen and butchered in the horse’s pasture, and the meat sold for a high profit.  Horse carcasses are discarded in public areas, where they pose a health hazard.

 

 

 

 

 

Horse meat sold to detectives by Manuel Coto-Martinez.
Horse meat sold to detectives by Manuel Coto-Martinez.
Author: Dale Williams <-- Become my friend on Facebook! - Phone: 724-964-6773

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