Operation Groves

In February of 2018, while canvassing an ongoing operation in West Palm Beach (Florida), ARM investigators stumbled upon a suspicious property which appeared to assimilate animal slaughter operations.

After promptly enquiring about purchasing animals for human consumption, ARM entered the dilapidated property’s rear following an invite by the business owner, Ricardo Cabrera (Ricky). Once there, investigators shed witness to a variety of animals living in barren and desolate conditions. Animals deprived of necessary water or food and express signs of sickness and disease exist amongst dead and decaying animals.

Multiple visits to the property revealed horrific living conditions, short of horror scenes, with pigs locked inside of metal horse trailers for unknown lengths of time. These pigs were never documented with having food or water and lived in the cramped trailer with walls heavily splattered in blood from previously killed animals. Inside, the pigs are shot in the and stabbed, then dragged to their countless deaths in the butcher area while their companions witness the entire torture and torment.

Operating on sufficient demand and supply, Rancho Cabrera was attending animal auctions once a week and purchasing an average of 1,500 birds per week.

Following ARM’s undercover operations upon, what became titled as Rancho Cabrera, brutal crimes against animals documented included, but were not limited to the following;

Animals are starved, malnourished, dehydrated, and show signs of infectious disease.

Animals are killed inhumanely and are not being rendered insensible to pain before slaughter.

Animals are being contained inhumanely in cramped living conditions and cages, some unable to move freely or stand up.

Animals are being shot with small caliber guns or stabbed inhumanely, prior to being dragged to the butcher area.

Animals are tortured and killed in front of minors.

Chickens throats are carelessly cut with dull blades and thrown into plastic barrels where they thrash around with other birds and drown in their blood.

Animals are hung up alive on metal hooks, before being deemed insensible to pain.

One of the most shocking components of Rancho Cabrera that sets apart from the 140 illegal animal slaughter farms which ARM has closed down to date revealed customers being allowed to slaughter the animals they purchased, something never before witnessed.

While already operating as an unregistered, unlicensed and unregulated slaughter operation, animals suffered immensely inhumane handling, killing and butchering. All of the animals slaughtered for human consumption documented were in a gross violation of the humane slaughter act (FL State Statute 828.24(2)). On no occasion, ARM investigators capture any of the animals killed, without being rendered insensible to pain before slaughter. On one time, a goat was pierced in its back legs and strung upside on metal hooks before having its throat cut.

Aside from the business owner, Ricard Cabrera, two other employees work at Rancho Cabrera. These include a Hispanic woman known as Katie and Cabrera’s adult son. During ARM’s investigation, all three of these individuals committed the inhumane slaughter of the animals. Upon one visit to Rancho Cabrera, investigators witnessed all three animal killers slaughter approximately 200 chickens — all in an inhumane manner.

Rancho Cabrera, located in N. Loxahatchee, Florida, has no record of obtaining any license, including a USDA custom exempt classification.

During ARM’s investigation, investigators also captured incriminating evidence of the slaughtered animals being delivered and distributed throughout Palm Beach County to boatyards, restaurants, offices, and residential customers.

This property is also violating multiple environmental, building, and zoning and health codes. Read the full report here.

On May 11th, 2018, ARM met with Palm Beach Law enforcement and the State Attorneys office to discuss the charges.

On August 2nd, 2018, the Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office raided Rancho Cabrera. Three individuals were placed under arrest to include Ricardo Cabrera (57 Years), Chico Allen Cabrera (29 years – Ricardo’s son), and Roberto Llorente (65 Years).

The SAO charged the three offenders with an extensive list of over 90 felony charges of animal cruelty were filed o the three offenders. The list also included Felony Cruelty to Animals, Conspiracy to Commit Felony Cruelty to Animals, Kill Animals Inhumane Methods, and Conspiracy to Commit Killing Animals using Inhumane Methods.

The court set high bails for the offenders in a Palm Beach County Court.

Ricardo Cabrera’s bond set at $139,000, Chico Cabrera at $94,000, and Llorente for $77,000. Circuit Judge Ted S. Booras, also made it clear that the defendants could not pay their bail with the money they received from their alleged crimes at the slaughterhouse. Prosecutors stated that the investigators seized $120,000.00 during their raid.

Along with ARM’s investigative and the assistance of other local, state, and federal agencies, Rancho Cabrera and the illegal slaughtering and animal cruelty activities, are now shut down, making this case one of the most successful animal cruelty cases of 2018.