After a 2-year investigation, Washington authorities have arrested Victor Hugo Gallegos Chavez on suspicion of raising and selling hundreds of roosters for cockfighting form his farm in Rochester.
During the investigation, hidden cameras showed Chavez keeping the birds tethered, taunting them and forcing them to fight.
On Monday, State police raided the property and found around 300 birds. They were all euthanized for being completely drugged with steroids and thus unsuitable for rehabilitation or human consumption, explained Thurston County Senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Joseph Wheeler.
Court documents filed by the prosecutors said the 35-year-old man raised the birds and sold them to different cities in both Mexico and the US, where cockfighting is illegal in all 50 states.
Chavez is now facing up to 5 years in prison and a $10,000 fine if charged with animal cruelty, illegal gambling and animal fighting.
Federal immigration officials also believe that Chavez may be in the country illegally. He will face the charges he is accused of before facing or not deportation.
And yesterday in Miami, authorities raided a cockfighting ring in Homestead where they seized about 50 birds, thousands of dollars, drugs and firearms and arrested approximately 200 people.
Two roosters were in the cockpit and several others waiting in their cages when Miami-Dade officials entered the property of 28-year-old Alejandro Queupumil. Lt. Luis Almaguer said they also found many dead roosters inside.
“It’s significant not only because of the animal cruelty that’s taking place here but also because of all the additional illicit activities that go on while these things take place such as the sale of alcohol, illegal narcotics, firearms,” said Major Artime. “When you have these type of folks who are armed and coming around here with narcotics it’s a perfect recipe for trouble.”
The people in custody are facing charges including animal cruelty, animal fighting, narcotics, weapons and illegal gambling.