|Four people involved in a cockfighting ring were arrested and 40 roosters were discovered dead in a raid in Weber County, Utah.|
A deputy was on routine patrol when he noticed a vehicle pull into a warehouse just after 2:30 a.m. Sunday, Weber County Sheriff's Lt. Klint Anderson said.
As the deputy began questioning the two occupants of the car, about 50 people ran from the warehouse. The deputy looked inside the warehouse and saw two rings set up and several dead roosters on the floor, Anderson said.
After the deputy called for backup, investigators found roosters in pens, crates and cages inside the warehouse, in vehicles that were abandoned at the scene and in cages in a nearby field.
The crates had shipping labels on them from Arizona, Nevada and Oklahoma with the words ‘Cock Fight – Best Quality’ printed on them, Anderson said.
50 live birds, some of which were injured, were taken to the Weber County Animal Shelter.
Officers also found some syringes and a large but undisclosed amount of cash.
A Nevada man and three Idaho residents were arrested, two Utah residents were cited and dozens of others were being investigated for suspicion of gambling and being spectators of an organized animal fighting exhibition.
The site is owned by KBC Leasing. The owner told officers he rented out the space without knowing any illegal activity was going on.
Cockfighting is legal only in New Mexico, Oklahoma and Louisiana.