That's so sad! I'll have to look that up. We had something like that happen where I live but there were only about 20-30 horses. Most of them weren't even his though. They were other people's who boarded them at his barn.
I'm sure the reason they aren't removed are because there is not enough room for them elsewhere. There are plenty of people who WANT to rescue a horse, but FAR less who can. A horse is extremely expensive to keep. Mine cost me about $200 each per month. That's not including the vet bills, farrier bills, special feed, and medication these horses no doubt need. A horse is not something someone can just take in to help. Also, with a commitment and price tag that large, people are much less inclined to take one in that is of poor health. Also, most people with horses keep them at a boarding barn and not at home. That makes it harder to take another one in.
This will have to be a major rescue operation. :(
edited to say- Yeah, 5 years in jail and a $5000 fine is NOWHERE near enough. I don't think I could even put a number on what I feel is right.