Cockfighting ring busted in Plant City, deputies say

December 14th, 2009 by

PLANT CITY – Investigators say tucked behind a home at 513 Greenway Drive in Plant City was a scene deputies could only describe as cruel.

“It’s just a grotesque and inhumane event,” offered JD Callaway of The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.

More than 200 roosters and hens, many in cages were stashed behind the home. Deputies say at least 65 of them were prepped for fighting.

Deputies recalled that they arrived to find a cockfight in progress and then watched as many who were involved scattered from the scene.

“We know some ran from us. We don’t know who they are right now, but we hope to find out,” added Callaway.

“Didn’t know what was going on. Had no idea,” offered neighbor Ed Herrington.

Herrington said he counted as 19 people fled from the home and ran across his yard. In his 20 years in the neighborhood, he says he’s never seen anything like it.

“Killing chickens for sport? You can’t do that,” added Herrington.

Deputies say they found at least 20 birds already dead tossed aside like garbage.

Animal Services arrived at the home to euthanize 65 of the animals on scene. Deputies say the birds had been given antibiotics to keep them alive to fight again.

Investigators say proof of a cockfighting operation was clear. Participants had set up a ring for watching the fights. It was littered with trash and beer cans.

Detectives also say they found 48 metal spurs which they say the men attached to the birds to help them kill each other more quickly; only adding to the grotesque scene.

“We have dead birds in a dog food bag. You had a dead bird in a box. It’s just a horrendous thing,” according to Callaway.

Police arrested six men and one woman at the scene. One of the men, Guadalupe Herrera, lives at the home and faces felony charges of baiting and fighting animals.

Friends and family members grew hostile outside as police led those arrested out of the backyard.

“We ended a criminal enterprise they had going on. So, if they were enjoying it or making money off of it we ended that for them. So, they’re not happy about it,” added Callaway.

All of the people arrested face felony charges.

Deputies are trying to figure out exactly how long this may have been going on and how much money was involved.

One Response

  1. Johnny D

    Like that FN’ place was that hard to find.all the cops had to do was be within a mile or so an hour before sunrise and guess what … guessed it “cock-a-doodle-do times 100!I wonder how many tax dollars were wasted finding that shit hole!

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