A Utah man accused of torturing guinea pigs and sharing videos of the abuse online has been arrested after online sleuths notified the police.
Samuel Webster, 18, was charged with five counts of intentional or knowingly aggravated cruelty to animals after 17 videos of him allegedly torturing animals were found on YouTube, according to KUTV.
Webster is allegedly connected to the account that shared videos that showed the torture and killing of guinea pigs that Davis County Sheriff’s Department officers said had titles such as “torture is addicting.”
The teenager is also accused of pulling the animals’ eyes out, breaking their bones and showing dead guinea pigs.
But internet sleuths went on the hunt to find the person behind the YouTube account and found accounts allegedly connected to Webster.
Speaking to KUTV, Leo Boddicker said he tracked down the person behind the accounts after a person mentioned them on a subreddit for guinea pigs.
Boddicker, from McComb Illinois, who owns two guinea pigs of his own, said in order to find out who was behind the accounts he needed to watch some of the content.
He told KUTV: “It was really nasty stuff. I’ve never seen anything like it.”
Boddicker said he was then invited into a group chat that was devoted to investigating the accounts with the aim of finding out information and passing it on to the police.
“People were trying to find out who he was based on clues in his videos. Like in some of his videos, a box from Petco can be seen.”
Once the online sleuths had enough information they passed it on to police who then went to Webster’s home.
Davis County officers said they were able to identify Webster as the owner of the Youtube accounts and in the search found items seen in the video, animal remains and weapons, according to ABC4.
No living animals were found in the home during the police search, the network added.
Newsweek has contacted the Davis County Sheriff’s Department for comment.
Aggravated animal cruelty is a class A misdemeanor if committed intentionally or knowingly and if convicted can result in jail time.
According to law firm Weber Law a class A misdemeanor is punishable by up to one year behind bars and a fine that can run up to $1,000.
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