Tennessee Horse Hauler Enters Plea Deal

A Tennessee horse hauler whose firm was shut down by federal authorities in 2012 has pleaded guilty to a single charge under a plea deal.

In January 2012, a truck hauling 38 horses in a single-level trailer owned by Three Angels Farm, in Lebanon, Tennessee, was traveling on Interstate 40 in Williamson County, Tennessee, when the trailer overturned. Three horses died as a result of the accident. The truck‘s driver was later charged with multiple violations.

Six months later, a driver was transporting 37 horses from Three Angels Farm to Texas when the floor of the trailer containing the animals collapsed. One horse was humanely euthanized at the scene. The driver was subsequently charged with multiple violations.

On June 28, 2012, the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) ordered Three Angels Farms and its owners to immediately cease all transportation services. If the trucking firm violated the order, its owner and operator Dorian Ayache would be faced with criminal penalties including up to $25,000 in fines, imprisonment, or both.

After the cease order, Three Angels Farm allegedly continued to haul horses under the name Terri's Farm; that company's owner, Theresa Vincent, faced similar penalties connected to charges of alleged conspiracy to use trucks ordered out of service by the FMCSA.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Bill Abely said that on Aug. 19, under a plea agreement, Ayache pleaded guilty to a single count of failing to maintain a current driver's log. Under terms of the deal, Ayache could face penalties of $25,000 and up to six months in jail, Abely said. Under a similar agreement, Vincent could face similar pentalites, he said.

Neither Ayache nor Vincent was available for comment.

Abely said the agreements are contingent on their acceptance by a federal judge, and sentencing in the case is slated for November.

About the Author

Pat Raia

Pat Raia is a veteran journalist who enjoys covering equine welfare, industry, and news. In her spare time, she enjoys riding her Tennessee Walking Horse, Sonny.

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