Three men have been charged in connection with a spate of illegal sheep butchery offences across Northamptonshire.
The men, all from Birmingham, are charged with conspiracy to steal in relation to the slaughter and illegal butchery of sheep.
Robert Iordan, aged 23, Florin Nutu, aged 35, and Voirel Manu, aged 38, have been charged.
The offences took place between 22 June and 7 October. In total, 12 reports of illegal butchery were made to Northamptonshire Police.
The force launched its Operation Stock investigation in response to the string of crimes.
Iordan and Nutu were arrested on the A14 in the early hours of Monday (7 October) following the discovery of nine illegally butchered sheep near Welton the previous evening.
Manu was arrested in Birmingham on Monday evening and all three men were charged on Tuesday.
Iordan and Nutu, both of Dunsink Road, Birmingham, and Manu, of no fixed address, have been remanded in custody ahead of a first appearance at Northampton Magistrates’ Court today (9 October).
Inspector Tracy Moore, who leads on rural crime for Northamptonshire Police, said: “We know these crimes caused a great deal of upset and anger to both the owners of the animals and to rural communities.
“The charging and remand of three people in relation to Operation Stock represents a huge amount of teamwork within our force and our neighbouring forces.
“I’d like to thank our farming and rural communities again for the support they have offered throughout the investigation.”
Since February 2019, Northamptonshire Police has received the following reports of lambs and sheep being killed and butchered in the county:
• 28/02/19 – four lambs, one ram butchered in Whilton
• 06/03/19 – five ewes butchered in Harpole
• 23/06/19 – five lambs believed killed and stolen in Holcot
• 06/07/19 – two rams butchered in Rushton
• 08/07/19 – 15 lambs butchered in Crick/West Haddon
• 09/07/19 – 21 lambs butchered in Whilton
• 13/07/19 – 13 lambs butchered in Kelmarsh
• 17/07/19 – nine lambs butchered in Clipston
• 04/08/19 - six lambs butchered in south Northamptonshire
• 19/08/19 - 11 lambs butchered in Whilton
• 30/08/19 - at least 26 lambs and ewes butchered between Duston and Harpole
• 09/09/19 - 25 sheep butchered in Thornby
• 25/09/19 - 3 lambs butchered in Denton