PENNSYLVANIA (WHTM) — Pennsylvania State Police on Thursday announced charges against 11 people for alleged cruel treatment of turkeys at seven farms in central and southeastern Pennsylvania.

The defendants, who were employed by Plainville Farms to capture and crate turkeys heading to food processing plants, allegedly kicked, stomped, and beat turkeys at farms in Chester, Cumberland, Franklin, Fulton, Perry, and Union counties, according to a PSP release.

The investigation began in August 2021 after a People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) employee witnessed the actions of the turkey catchers and PETA filed a complaint.

The defendants, according to PSP, are:

  • Bryce P. Washington, 26, McSherrystown
  • Miguel Turi Cantellano, 65, McSherrystown
  • Juan Turi Baeza, 37, McSherrystown
  • Jason K. Turner, 22, Hanover
  • Bryiant O. Perez-Paez, 40, Hanover
  • Francisco M. Lebron-Cruz, 39, Thomasville
  • Jose E. Turi Baeza, 29, New Oxford
  • Kevin L. Wagaman, 49, Fayetteville
  • Mitchell E. Buckley, 23, Aspers
  • Christopher S. McArdle, 37, Gettysburg
  • Joseph Nunez Rosario, 41, York

Another person involved has not been identified, PSP said.

PSP says the charges against the defendants include six felony counts of aggravated cruelty to animals, 76 misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty, and 57 related summary offenses.

“This was a lengthy, detailed investigation that involved reviewing a lot of evidence at multiple locations,” said Cpl. Michael Spada, animal cruelty officer in the Bureau of Criminal Investigation, Investigative Services Section. “I’d like to thank the outside agencies for their involvement and Plainville Farms for their cooperation.”