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Animal Recovery Mission founder concerned about biased investigation into alleged animal abuse

Posted at 5:40 PM, Nov 16, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-17 04:27:09-05

The Okeechobee County Sheriff's Office has announced four arrest warrants for four employees seen in theLarson Dairy Farms video released last week.

The founder of Animal Recovery Mission responsible for the video accused the sheriff of bias in this case.

"Things took a downward spiral once the elected sheriff got involved," said Richard Couto.

He fears Sheriff Noel Stephen will shut down any real investigation into Larson Dairy.

He points to a statement Stephen made last week after learning of the video.

"I know three generations of Larsons and I stand here before you to say not one of those three gentlemen would accept this kind of conduct," said Stephen at the time.

Asst. State Attorney Ashley Albright does not worry about any perceived bias in this case.

"Especially in a small town, it's very common that you know people, but when you're in law enforcement you arrest people if they commit a crime. It doesn't matter who they are," said Albright.

He says he wants to meet with ARM to alleviate those concerns.