Fresno County sheriff’s deputies arrested four teenagers on Wednesday on charges of burglary and felony cruelty to animals after authorities found 920 chickens beaten to death with a golf club at the Foster Farms chicken shed earlier this week.
According to the Associated Press, Gabriel Quintero, 18, was taken into custody on Wednesday, along with two 17-year-olds and a 15-year-old whose identities are being withheld because they are minors.
Fresno Sheriff’s Department spokesman Chris Curtice told the AP that no more arrests are expected in the case. Curtice previously called the unknown suspects “pretty sick” to have committed such a crime.
“You can’t do that much damage to animals and not have blood on your clothing,” Curtice told CBS News on Wednesday. “We want to find out who they are and get them off the street.”
According to the AP, detectives at the specialized “Ag Task Force,” which deals with agriculture-related crime in Fresno County, led the investigation and managed to nab the suspects after receiving several tips from the public.
“This disturbs us all,” Foster Farms spokesman Ira Bell told the AP. “It appears to be a very senseless act of animal cruelty.”
Bell added that not all of the chickens at the facility were killed, and that the company is taking the incident seriously.
“It is the express policy of Foster Farms to treat its birds humanely and with compassion,” Foster Farms said in a statement after the incident. The company is reportedly working with local authorities to distribute a $5,000 reward for the information that led to the arrests.