A Fremont man was arrested Monday for allegedly slaughtering 11 cows and burying them underneath his rural property in unincorporated Santa Clara County, county sheriff’s officials said.
Marc Belluomini, 54, owned 1,500 acres near the Canada de los Osos Ecological Reserve off of state Highway 152 and had entered into an agreement early this year with two cattle owners for them to use the area for grazing, according to sheriff’s deputies.
The agreement “began to break down,” sheriff’s officials said, and the man allegedly brandished a rifle at one of the cattle owners on May 25 when they tried to remove the animals from the property.
The cattle owner reported the incident to sheriff’s officials, who said both parties agreed to a negotiated removal of the cattle.
But on June 5, the cattle owner told sheriff’s deputies that several of their cows had been slaughtered and buried on the property. Deputies said they launched an investigation and later unearthed 11 cows, in addition to bullet fragments and other evidence.
Belluomini was arrested at his Fremont house on Monday and was booked into jail on suspicion of 11 counts of animal cruelty, two counts of illegal cattle driving and allegedly brandishing a firearm, sheriff’s officials said.
He has since posted $200,000 bail.
Sheriff Laurie Smith said in a statement:
“I am extremely proud of the exquisite work by our investigators in this unusual case … I truly hope justice will be served in response to the cruel killing of these animals.”