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
In response to the emergency motion filed on September 19, 2013, Federal Judge Christina Armijo has suspended Horse Slaughter operations at Rains Natural Meats until October 4, 2013.
Judge Armijo furthered ordered that this matter be referred to the Honorable Robert H.Scott for an evidentiary hearing to determine if her order should be extended beyond October 4th.
Judge Scott will also be ruling on the request from Rains Natural Meats to be included on the bond, which he granted to Valley Meats and Responsible Transportation on August 8, 2013. Our attorneys continue to contest this bond, as this case is against the federal government (USDA) and its permitting process, not the companies that were recently given permission to begin slaughtering horses.
Wild horses are slated to be rounded up at Theodore Roosevelt National Park in western North Dakota. The park maintains a demonstration herd of what it calls feral horses to commemorate the wild horses that roamed the badlands when Theodore Roosevelt ranched in the area during the 1880s. Park officials say the herd has grown to more than 200 animals, beyond the ideal size for the park of fewer than 100 and must be thinned to protect from overgrazing.
The park also plans to launch a horse birth control experiment during the roundup.
"Once you have resource damage it's really difficult to fix it so we don't want to get to that point," said Eileen Andes, the park spokeswoman. "Our aim for the park is to maintain our wildlife populations for the public enjoyment but also to protect the resource and that's a balance that we have to continually work on."
About 100 of the horses will be sold at public auction in Wishek on Sept. 28.
The park has conducted more than 25 horse roundups since 1954. The park's last horse roundup, in 2009, led eight of 77 auctioned horses to wind up on the "kill market," where horses are bought for slaughter.
Members of some national organizations have said they are working to save the mustangs and find them homes. The Cloud Foundation, based in Colorado Springs, Colo., and Legacy Mustang Preservation, based in Louisa, Va., have joined forces in Operation Badlands Mustang Rescue. The groups have pledged to buy as many as 24 of the horses.
Source: The Associated Press