On July 4th, ARM began short-range surveillance on a property suspected of torturing and slaughtering animals to sell their meat to the public.
Located just minutes outside of Wellington, one of Florida’s most prestigious equestrian towns, ARM investigators quickly infiltrated the illegal animal slaughter farm (titled as G.A Paso Fino Farms by ARM investigators). They posed as customers and spent several months witnessing, documenting and exposing the heinous crimes committed on the property, owned by Orlando Guzman.
In addition to the slaughter operation, Guzman had also been operating a Paso Fino breeding and training business. However, during ARM’s undercover buys, it was revealed that the horses were even falling victim to being slaughtered and sold for human consumption. Paso Fino farm employees, Edgar Senior Bicca, Edgar Junior Bicca, and another ‘John Doe’ employee slaughtered and sold horse meat; an action considered a third-degree felony in Florida. The duo sold horse meat locally but spread into the underground market of the greater Miami area.
Aside from the illegal, inhumane slaughtering of animals and horses, investigators also witnessed the cruelest forms of brutality against the animals kept on the farm. As occurs on many illegal slaughter farms, the methods of butchering the animals were consistent with many of ARM’s previous cases. ARM documented three employees ruthlessly grabbing and dragging goats to the kill area. They continued to slit the animals’ throat slowly with an incredibly dull blade, letting them bleed out for several minutes before hoisting them upside down skinning them while they were still clinically alive and not insensible to pain.
ARM investigators also documented pigs shot in the head with a 22 caliber rifle, something not considered a humane or instantaneous death for the pig. Several minutes later, workers slit the pigs’ throat with foot-long blades and left to bleed out. The pigs thrashed in agony and endured prolonged and painful deaths, often drowned to death while still alive. Employees also bragged about how they killed Armadillos by throwing them directly into boiling water without being stunned first.
The owner and employees of G.A Paso Fino Farm have a reputation in Palm Beach County as not only being butchers but also as being suppliers of horse meat for both human consumption as a delicacy and to serve the purpose of medicinal purposes and even to treat sexual performance in men.
The state of the animals’ conditions upon the G.A Paso Fino farm is undoubtedly some of the most deplorable conditions. Animals deprived of water, feed, medical treatment, and many of the animals are living in extreme filth and forced to feed off one another.
ARM documented all of these crimes and atrocities against animals and presented the evidence to the Palm Beach County State Attorney’s office and State and Federal enforcement agencies, USDA, State/Federal environmental agencies, and PBC animal services department. Due to ARM’s investigations and the collaboration with the above agencies, G.A Paso Fino Farms was subject to a raid at daybreak on October 13th, 2015.
On the same day, ARM and law enforcement raided two other properties (Garcia Farm and Medina Farm), just moments away from Paso Fino’s location, spurring the second-largest task force of animal cruelty rescue and strike in the United States.