The Wicomico County Sheriff's Office says a 21-year-old man has been charged in connection with the deaths of nearly 70,000 chickens.

Authorities say Joshua Shelton has been charged with burglary, malicious destruction of property and trespassing.

The sheriff's office says the owner of a farm on East Line Road in Delmar told a deputy early Saturday that the power had been turned off in three poultry houses, which deprived the chickens of food, water and cooling fans.

Shelton was found lying in the power control shed. Authorities say he was wearing a T-shirt and boxer shorts and smelled of alcohol.

The sheriff's office says the deputy determined that Shelton had turned off the circuit breakers that controlled electricity to the poultry houses.

Source: The Associated Press