Five men were arrested on Tuesday, January 27, in connection with what would appear to be the ritualistic sacrifice of a chicken on a farm near Dominion and Foxen Canyon roads, about three miles east of Santa Maria.
Sheriff’s deputies initially responded to a call about trespassing on the farm in question. Once there around 3 p.m., however, they found a beheaded chicken and evidence of some sort of ceremony the men had allegedly performed. The men - Manuel Juarez, 28; Felipe Tellez, 23; Felipe Castillo, 52; Marcelino Tranquilino, 21; and Herminio Juarez, 23 - were arrested on charges of animal cruelty, trespassing, and possession of false identification. They remain in Santa Barbara County Jail. Being undocumented immigrants, the men will be held there until U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement decides whether to deport them, Sheriff’s Department spokesperson Andrew Sugars explained.