Jose Pagliery, Miami Herald, Sept. 23, 2009
Police have arrested a second teen in connection with the recent North Miami-Dade horse killings that are believed to be fueled by a market for equine meat.
Santiago Cabrera, a 19-year-old from Hialeah, was arrested Monday night and charged with armed burglary, animal cruelty, killing a registered breed horse and breaking or injuring a fence. Last week, police arrested Luis Miguel Cordero, 18, on similar charges.
Cabrera and Cordero are believed to be among four people who took part in killing a horse at two different ranches. Miami-Dade police are still searching for two other suspects whose names have not been released.
It is unclear if the two teens are linked to other horse killings in Miami-Dade and Broward counties. At least 17 horses have been slaughtered this year in South Florida.
Horse owners have discovered their pets’ butchered remains in pastures and along rural roads–one even in its own stall–after they became apparent victims of a black-market demand for horse meat.
Cordero was arrested last week after investigators received a tip that he was planning to kill another horse. Detectives said they placed a wire on a man who was approached by Cordero and offered $2,000 to take part in the slaughter. Police said Cordero–who was found with a duffle bag filled with garbage bags, rope and a butcher knife–confessed to breaking into a Miami Gardens ranch on Sept. 9.
According to police, Cordero and others secretly entered the Lazy L Ranch in the 5400 block of Northwest 159th Street and pulled the horse, King Quizi, out of its stall.
The police report states Cordero “used a rope to tie the horse’s legs and push it to the ground.” Another man nicknamed Flaco then “cut the horse’s throat and immediately began to cut the horse’s front quarters as the horse was suffering an agonizing death.”
They stuffed the meat into bags and drove off in a red pickup truck, according to the report.
Cordero was arrested days later and was being held without bond Tuesday at the Metro West Detention Center.