The Fresno County Sheriff’s Office this evening announced the arrest of four persons in connection with the slaughter of over 900 chickens last month at a facility near Caruthers. Arrested was 18 year old Gabriel Quintero of Riverdale, two juvenile males, ages 15 and 17 from Caruthers, and a third juvenile male, aged 17 from Lemoore.
On the morning of September 20th, patrol deputies responded to the Foster Farms facility in Caruthers after workers discovered the dead chickens.
It was determined the suspects pulled back a portion of a wall and entered one of the chicken sheds. Once inside, the suspects used a golf club and another similar type instrument to slaughter the birds.
Foster Farms officials reported nine hundred twenty birds were killed with an estimated value of just fewer than five thousand dollars. Foster Farms also offered a reward in the case.
Yesterday, information regarding the investigation was put out to local media. The coverage generated several calls to the Sheriff’s Office, Ag Task Force, and CrimeStoppers.
The coverage also caused some animal rights groups to also offer rewards.
One tip in particular, identified the suspects as three male juveniles who lived at a residence located in the 3500 block of W Elkhorn Ave. Detectives also learned the information regarding the incident and possible suspects had been spread via social media.
Earlier this afternoon, shortly after 3:30pm, patrol deputies and Ag Task Force detectives responded to the W Elkhorn address where they contacted the fifteen and seventeen year old juveniles. Evidence linking the juveniles to the crime was discovered at the home, and both juveniles were eventually taken into custody without incident.
While there, detectives also developed information on two other possible suspects, one of which had been identified in the original tip.
At approximately 7:00pm, deputies and detectives arrived at a residence near Road 25 & Fremont near Lemoore. There they located the third seventeen year old juvenile who was taken into custody without incident.
Shortly before 9:00pm, Quintero was taken into custody without incident after detectives tracked him to an apartment located in the 1500 block of N Millbrook Ave in the City of Fresno.
During today’s follow up investigation, further evidence tying the suspects to the crime was discovered after returning to the scene.
Quintero was later transported to the Fresno County Jail where he was booked on charges of burglary and felony cruelty to animals.
The three juveniles were all transported to the Fresno Juvenile Justice Center where they were also booked on charges of burglary and felony cruelty to animals.