HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – A Wimauma man was sentenced to two years in Florida State Prison after he stole several animals in Hillsborough County.
According to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, deputies in the Agriculture Unit began investigating the thefts of seven horses throughout the county between Dec. 2021 and May 2022.
On May 26, 2022, dispatchers said they got a call about another horse being stolen in north Hillsborough County when bystanders said a Hispanic man was seen loading a miniature horse into a trailer. HCSO said the animal was found in Wimauma the next day.
After the animal was found, deputies then issued a statewide alert for the suspect’s white work van and red horse trailer. Police stated that with the help of the public, deputies were able to locate his vehicle on the 15000 block of Colding Loop in Wimauma.
Once deputies located the vehicles, they arrested 57-year-old Esteban Galvez.
Upon further investigation, HCSO said Galvez was linked to three other horse thefts. He was also found to have an alligator and several illegal bird traps.
According to HCSO, the 57-year-old was sentenced on April 18, 2023.