MIAMI (CBS4)- Officials arrested a man who they said operated an illegal slaughterhouse in Hialeah, committing brutal animal cruelty, and causing potential pollution and health safety issues.

The Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office and the Hialeah Police Department arrested Rudesindo “Rudy” Acosta, the prime operator of an illegal slaughterhouse located in Hialeah.

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According to officials, they became aware of several farms operating within the City of Hialeah that were illegally slaughtering animals, and were doing so “in a cruel and inhumane manner, which resulted in acute pain and suffering the animals in violation of the Florida Humane Slaughter Act.”

Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said the slaughterhouse violated the state’s animal cruelty laws.

“The brutality of what so casually occurs at an illegal slaughterhouse shocks the senses,” said Fernandez Rundle. “Brutally beating an animal with a sledge hammer as it squeals out in pain and then stabbing it repeatedly for profit, violates every concept of Florida’s animal cruelty laws. No legitimate slaughterhouse operator or any self-respecting farmer would treat their livestock in such a ghastly manner.”

Undercover video was taken of some of the witnessed incidents, which included the repeated beating of the animals with sledgehammers and stabbing with knives, officials said.

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Additionally, the unsanitary conditions of the illegal slaughterhouse allowed blood and other animal fluids to consistently seep into the ground, potentially endangering the water quality of the City of Hialeah.

Officials charged Acosta with three counts of animal cruelty, one count of use of a firearm during the commission of a felony, 40 counts of animal confinement and three counts of conspiracy to commit the aforementioned.

The illegal slaughterhouse existed on land zoned as raw agricultural land, which means that no physical structures of any kind, not even a fence, were legally permitted to exist, according to officials.

The investigation led officials to discover that the property on which the animals were being butchered is not owned by Rudy Acosta.

“Only during the course of the investigation was it learned that Mr. Acosta had actually usurped an isolated piece of City of Hialeah property for his own private and illegal use,” a press release from the department said.

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Hialeah Police Chief Mark Overton added, “What concerns me is we’re dealing with a public safety issue; there’s no telling what health hazards families are exposed to when they consume meats sold by these unregulated slaughterhouses.”