Cockfighting Bust in Miami: 200 Arrests, Lots of Dead Roosters

Friday, 25 Apr 2014 11:07 AM

By Clyde Hughes

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Florida law enforcement officers busted a Miami-Dade cockfighting ring, arresting 200 people and confiscating thousands of dollars and roosters. 

Miami-Dade detective Roy Rutland told the Miami Herald that officers found firearms and drugs along with cash and roosters. Many of the people arrested were found gambling, seated or standing around an arena-type cockfighting ring.

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Rutland told the Miami Herald that cockfighting in deep south Miami-Dade is common, but the size of Thursday's ring was "one of the larger ones we’ve seen in quite a while."

Local authorities received a tip about drugs being sold out of a home in south Miami-Dade, and the police department sent in undercover officers to confirm and make drug purchases as proof before Thursday's raid.

Authorities found up to 50 caged roosters at the residence, most of them already dead, according to WFOR-TV.

"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," Miami-Dade Police Major Ariel Artime said. "When you have these type of folks who are armed and coming around here with narcotics it's a perfect recipe for trouble."

Cockfighting is when two roosters fight each other to the death while people place bets on which animal will live. The birds suffer untreated injuries, die and are thrown away afterward.

Cockfighting is often associated with gambling, drug dealing, illegal gun sales and other criminal activities. While illegal in Florida, cockfighting is popular in Cuba, Mexico, Peru and Colombia from November to April, WPLG-TV reported.

The police department's organized crime section also joined in the investigation. The Herald reported that the property belonged to Alejandro Queupumil. The names of those arrested were not released on Thursday.

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