A plea deal is in the works for Horse Slaughter hauler, Dorian Ayache, that could include no prison time
NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - A plea deal is in the works for a slaughter-horse hauler that could include no prison time and a fine of less than $25,000. Dorian Ayache is the owner of Three Angels Farm in Lebanon, a trucking company whose rickety trailers wrecked on the interstate twice in 2012, endangering drivers and causing several injured horses to be euthanized.
Ayache was facing 26 years in prison for violating a U.S. Department of Transportation order to shut down after inspectors found numerous safety violations.
Tuesday, Ayache entered a guilty plea in federal court. If it's accepted, all the charges against him will be dropped except one: failing to maintain a current driver's log. The maximum fine he faces is $25,000. Ayache would serve six months in prison at most, but he could end up serving no time at all.
"I think it's a pretty trivial sentence," said Leighann Lassiter, the Tennessee director of the United States Humane Society.
"This violation, number one, resulted in endangering thousands of people on the road, but also contributed to the suffering of thousands of animals who were unfortunate enough to find themselves in his care," Lassiter added.
Ayache was transporting horses to the Mexican border, where they were to be slaughtered for human food that is sent overseas.
The federal government criminally charged Ayache with continuing to operate an unsafe trucking operation after being ordered to shut down. The Department of Transportation found Three Angels Farm's equipment in disrepair and its drivers' logbooks inaccurate.
Scott York was driving the Three Angels trailer that broke in half on I-440 in 2012. He told Channel 4 that Ayache ordered drivers to stay on the road for longer than the law allows.
"He taught me how to fudge a log book," York told Channel 4 in 2012. During that time, York said, the horses were not given water, food or rest. And if the horses went down, he said, they were given electric shocks. "He makes you cattle-prod them up," York told Channel 4.
After the government shut down Three Angels Farm, Ayache hauled horses under a different company's name, Terri's Farm. Its owner, Theresa Vincent, is being offered the same plea deal of zero to six months in prison and a fine of less than $25,000.
The sentences aren't set in stone. The plea agreements have to be approved by a federal judge. Sentencing is set for Nov. 21.
Source: WSMV by Nancy Amons
WSMV slideshow of Ayache's trailer that was hauling horses that crashed on I-40 im 2012
NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - The man behind the Lebanon trucking company shuttered last year by the federal government after two interstate mishaps involving trailers loaded with horses headed to slaughter is in trouble again. Dorian Ayache has been indicted on a long list of federal charges, including continuing to truck horses to slaughterhouses along the Mexican border even after his trucking company was shut down, and trying to destroy evidence.
Also charged is the owner of a second company, Theresa Vincent, who the government says continued the trucking operation, just under a new name.
Ayache first came to the Channel 4 I-Team's attention in early 2012 when a load of horses he was hauling to slaughter tipped over on the interstate in Williamson County, killing three horses.
Then, it happened again a few months later, when another load of horses Ayache was sending to the meat packing plant overturned in south Nashville.
Both times, federal regulators cited his rigs and drivers for safety violations, and the U.S. Department of Transportation shut Ayache's business down.
But as the I-Team reported in August 2012, we found Ayache continuing to operate under a new company name: Teri's Farm.
Now, both Ayache and Vincent, the owner of Teri's Farm, have been indicted by a federal grand jury.
Investigators say Ayache continued to truck horses after the D.O.T. ordered him not to and then allegedly erased a series of emails in an attempt to cover it up.
Vincent is accused of lying to the grand jury, saying she hadn't had phone contact with Ayache when she allegedly had.
There's a third company involved in all this, too. According to the indictment, after the feds shut down Ayache's Three Angels Farms and then Teri's Farm, the investigators say Ayache continued to operate under a third name.
Source: WSMV by Nancy Amons
Introduced by Senators Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Robert Menendez (D-NJ), the Horse Transportation Safety Act of 2013 (S. 1459) would prohibit the hauling of horses on livestock trailers containing one level on top of the other. The bill has garnered bipartisan support in Congress, as well from the welfare, veterinary and agriculture communities.
Contact your U.S. Senator and urge them to support S.1459 in order to protect horses from being transported across the United States for any reason in a trailer having more than one level.
>>> Click Here to Contact your Representative