An arrest has been made in the Pilgrim Pride vandalism case that resulted in the death of 300,000 chickens and an estimated total loss of $1.7 million in South Carolina. (Feedstuffs, March 9)
Clarendon County authorities said James Laverne Lowery was arrested April 7 after 12 warrants were issued for his arrest. He had been a Pilgrim Pride contract grower in the past and evidence tied him to the crimes. Maj. Kipp Coker said it may be a case of revenge against the company.
Lowery was charged with four counts of malicious injury to personal property over $10,000 and eight counts of burglary in the second degree.
Sheriff Randy Garrett said Lowery hurt farmers in this county who work every day to feed their families and had no ax to grind with him.
The case was also being turned over to the United States Attorney's Office where Lowery could face 20 years in jail for tampering with the food chain.
Pilgrim Pride had offered a $50,000 reward, but no leads resulted.