The livestock trailer loaded with horses that overturned on Interstate 40 Monday night may have been delivering the horses to their deaths across the border.
Three Angels Farms, based in Lebanon, may sound like some sort of horse rescue operation, but the Lebanon company is licensed as a livestock dealer. The driver, Mance Frank Reed, told state troopers Monday night he was taking the horses to Presidio, TX.
Presidio is the home of a feed lot where horses are commonly held in pens until they are brought across the border to be slaughtered in Mexico. The meat is exported for human consumption outside the United States.
The owner of Three Angels Farms, Dorian Ayache, confirms that his company has delivered loads of horses to Presidio before and has done business with C-4 Cattle Company, a company that holds horses for export to Mexican slaughterhouses.
During the summer of 2011, authorities in Texas investigated how animals that were rejected by the slaughterhouses ended up abandoned with no food and water.
Ayache confirmed to Channel 4's Nancy Amons that he was involved in the incident in Presidio, but said, "I'm not willing to talk about it."
He initially told Amons the truck from Monday's accident had been headed to Oklahoma, but would not say where in Oklahoma.
The truck was loaded with 36 horses. Ayache confirmed what authorities told us Monday night - that three horses had to be euthanized, one was injured, and 32 were taken to a Dickson livestock facility after the wreck.
A man who identified himself as the owner of Dickson Livestock told Amons another semi came to pickup the horses in the wee hours of the morning to transport the horses to Texas.
The state veterinarian for Tennessee, Dr. Charles Hatcher, confirms that he got a phone call from authorities in Texas several months ago asking about Ayache.
Hatcher says the Texas state vet called about concerns that Ayache was importing horses into Texas without the proper paperwork, including health certificates.
Hatcher says he paid a courtesy visit to Ayache, where they discussed the importance of following animal import regulations.
The Tennessee Department of Agriculture licenses Three Angel Farms as a livestock dealer. Livestock dealers are supposed to have an inspection of their records once a year. Three Angel Farms was first licensed in July 2011, but has yet to have its first inspection.
Copyright 2012 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
Tuesday, May 21 2013 10:39 PM EDT2013-05-22 02:39:27 GMT
The Tennessee Highway Patrol is investigating a high-speed chase that came to a deadly end over the weekend, and police say as far as they can tell it was all over a speeding ticket. Shelbyville officersMore >>
The Tennessee Highway Patrol is investigating a high-speed chase that came to a deadly end over the weekend, and police say as far as they can tell it was all over a speeding ticket.More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 10:14 AM EDT2013-05-21 14:14:20 GMT
A father is facing charges after police said he left his young kids in a hot car Monday in the Gulch area downtown. Police said the dad, Tranquilo Camaja-Lajon, went to orientation for a new job and broughtMore >>
A father is facing charges after police said he left his young kids in a hot car Monday in the Gulch area of downtown.More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 10:16 PM EDT2013-05-22 02:16:08 GMT
Residents in tornado-stricken Moore, OK, await news on missing love ones Tuesday, a day after a massive tornado devastated the city, killing at least 51. Rescuers worked all night, with particular attentionMore >>
The tornado, with winds up to 200 mph, cut a 20-mile stretch as wide as two miles through the Oklahoma City metro area. The medical examiner's office reported 24 people died, including nine children. More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 5:00 PM EDT2013-05-21 21:00:18 GMT
Power was knocked out to thousands of residents in Nashville overnight after a truck slammed into a pole on White Bridge Road. The crash happened at about 10:50 p.m. Monday near Corbett Lane. As of 6More >>
Power was knocked out to hundreds of residents in Nashville overnight after a truck slammed into a pole on White Bridge Road.More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 10:36 AM EDT2013-05-21 14:36:49 GMT
(RNN) – A day after long track tornadoes devastated Shawnee and Edmond, OK, another round has begun near Oklahoma City.KOCO broadcast a slow rotating cloud that slowly extended down towards the groundMore >>
Dozens of people have died after a second day of tornadoes twisted through Oklahoma, this time taking aim at the town of Moore, south of Oklahoma City.More >>