Florida Man Charged in Illegal Horse Meat Probe

Juan Martinez-Gonzalez

Juan Martinez-Gonzalez

A Hialeah, Fla., man is facing multiple charges after his fingerprints were found on a van that police later determined contained horse meat intended for illegal sale.

Miami-Dade County Police discovered the van on May 26, 2010, after a tipster reported seeing a suspicious blood-smeared vehicle parked in a residential neighborhood. A subsequent investigation revealed that the van contained containers of horse meat.

On Jan. 5, Miami-Dade Police arrested Juan Martinez-Gonzalez in connection with the incident. He is charged with two counts each of improper disposal of dead animals and sanitary nuisance.

Miami-Dade County Police Public Information Officer Det. Edna Hernandez said Martinez-Gonzalez became linked to the incident after investigators matched his fingerprints to those found on the van's exterior,.

The owner of the van, Ramon Clemente, and acquaintance Modesto Chavez-Villa had previously been charged with loitering and prowling in relation to the incident and sentenced to probation.

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