A Fremont man who owns ranch land east of Gilroy is free after posting $200,000 bail last week on more than a dozen felony charges related to the slaughter and burial of at least 11 cattle in a grazing dispute.
Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrested Marc Belluomini, 54, at his residence in Fremont on Aug. 27, and announced the arrest the next day, after Belluomini was charged with . 11 counts of animal cruelty, two counts of Illegal cattle driving, and one count of brandishing a firearm.
Deputies identified Belluomini as the owner of a large parcel of land in unincorporated Santa Clara County east of Gilroy, near the large Canada de Los Osos Ecological Preserve off Highway 152.
Early in 2018, according to deputies, Belluomini entered into an agreement to allow cattle to graze on 1,500 acres of his South County land. The cattle were owned by two separate cattle owners who were both parties to the agreement. In May 2018, the relationship between the parties began to break down, and one of the cattle owners desired to remove his cattle from Belluomini’s property, deputies said.
On May 25, Belluomini confronted a cattle owner who was attempting to remove cattle from Belluomini’s land, deputies said. Belluomini brandished a rifle during the confrontation and ordered the cattle owner off the property. The cattle owner notified the Sheriff’s Office about the incident.
The sheriff’s rural crime deputies spoke to all the parties and negotiated what they thought was a solution, which involved removing all the cattle from Belluomini’s property. The solution was amenable to all parties at the time.
However, on June 5, deputies were informed by the cattle owners that numerous cattle had been slaughtered and buried on Belluomini’s property.
The Sheriff’s Office launched a full investigation that included numerous search warrants and the unearthing of 11 cattle carcasses from Belluomini’s property. Investigators said they were able to recover bullet fragments from some of the deceased cattle in addition to other evidence.
Belluomini was booked into the Santa Clara County Main Jail and posted bail set at $200,000.
“I am extremely proud of the exquisite work by our investigators in this unusual case,” said Sheriff Laurie Smith. “I truly hope justice will be served in response to the cruel killing of these animals.”