2 South Miami-Dade men arrested in horse-meat selling case

Cross-posted from the Miami Herald

Police have arrested two men, saying they sold horse meat at a Southwest Miami-Dade ranch.

Roberto Aguedo Chavez, 53, the ranch owner, and worker Ricardo Olivarez, 45, sold 10 pounds of meat to an undercover officer, police said.

The price: $50.

Acting on a tip, police went to the ranch at 19890 SW 180th St. and bought meat from the men, who stored it in an outdoor freezer.

Chavez had several horses on the property and police think “he was killing his own horses and selling them for the profit,” said Detective Edna Hernandez, a Miami-Dade police spokeswoman. The freezer was filled with suspected horse meat, Hernandez said.

Both men are charged with doing business without a license. The charge will be changed by the state attorney’s office to selling horse meat for human consumption.

It is legal for a person to kill their own horse and eat the meat. It is illegal, however, to sell the meat.

The equine community in South Florida has been on edge because of the slaughter of nearly 20 horses since January. Police have said the horse killings may be linked to a black market demand for the meat.

Miami-Dade police on Wednesday said they do not think this case is related.

Jeanette Jordan, president of the South Florida SPCA, which has been working with authorities on the horse slaughters, praised the “great police work.”

Last month, two Hialeah men were arrested for their roles in the killing of two horses at separate Miami-Dade ranches.

Santiago Cabrera, a 19-year-old from Hialeah, and Luis Miguel Cordero, 18, were arrested on several charges, including animal cruelty and killing a registered breed horse in those cases.

Thin Gray Line

By JENNIFER LEBOVICH | Miama Herald | Wed. 7 Oct 09 | Story URL

Miami Herald staff writer Elinor J. Brecher contributed to this report.

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