Authorities raided an illegal Florida slaughterhouse early Friday after undercover detectives bought horse meat multiple times at the location.
Police arrested Manuel Coto-Martinez, 70, of Miami-Dade. The state charged him with three felony counts, which includes the unlawful sale of horse meat.
Undercover detectives purchased 20 pounds of horse meat for $140 from Coto-Martinez in September, the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office says. Detectives said the horse meat was for an anemic child. Some believe iron-rich horse meat can cure anemia and other ailments.
Detectives made a third purchase of illegal horse meat from Coto-Martinez in mid-November.
Police say the frozen horse meat was “not clearly stamped, marked and described as horse meat for human consumption” and “not acquired from a licensed slaughterhouse”.
In late July, animal advocates discovered two horses butchered for their meat in Miami-Dade.
If convicted, Coto-Martinez faces up to five years in prison on each count.