FRESNO, California (AP) – Deputies have arrested four young men – one adult and three juveniles – suspected of breaking into a California chicken ranch and killing more than 900 birds with a golf club.
Fresno County sheriff’s officials acting on several tips Wednesday tracked down 18-year-old Gabriel Quintero of Riverdale. Also taken into custody were two 17-year-olds and a 15-year-old.
All have been booked on charges of burgla-ry and felony cruelty to animals.
Fresno Sheriff’s Department spokesman Christian Curtice said he cannot release in-formation about what prompted the killing of the chickens.
He didn’t anticipate any more arrests and said he did not know if the suspects had attorneys.
Investigators say the suspects pulled back a fence on Sept 20 to break into Foster Farms, a poultry company. Once inside a barn, they beat 920 chickens to death with a golf club and possibly another blunt instrument, investigators said.
The suspects were caught by detectives from a special Fresno-based agriculture task force, a sheriff’s unit established to investigate farming-related crimes in the nation’s leading agri-business county, with $5 billion in annual revenues.