An illegal cockfighting ring raided in southwest Arkansas over the weekend resulted in 130-plus arrests by law enforcement and "way more chickens that we expected."
That's according to Sheriff Robert Gentry of Sevier County, whose office told TV station KTBS that the sting was the result of an 18-month investigation
"We actually have video from the helicopter of them actually fighting and there was a pit with several dead birds in it," Gentry said.
Nearly 200 chickens found alive at the scene remained in the care of jail trustees until authorities could find a new home for them, according to the station. Fighting spurs made for the birds were also found at the scene.
The 137 people taken into custody included 17 juveniles, according to the Harrison Daily Times, as well as 34 people who participated in the fight and now face felony charges. Arkansas made cockfighting a felony offense in 2009. Spectators, who paid $20 at the gate, faced a misdemeanor charge.
The cockfight was not a local affair, drawing attendees from nearby states, Gentry said.
As TV station KSLA reported, more than 55 officers from from city, county and state levels collaborated on the raid. Authorities learned that while the cockfights occurred in the area every weekend, they returned to this specific property every four weeks, Gentry told the station.
Those facing felony charges included the property's owners, Eugenio and Jeanette Rojas of De Queen, Ark., KTBS reported. The massive raid resulted in the towing of 65 vehicles from the property and a combined 24 hours for officers to book everyone.
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