KBTX | Bryan & College Station, TX | Aggieland News

Cockfighting Ring Busted in Grimes County

By: Kristen Ross Email
By: Kristen Ross Email

More than 200 chickens are seized by an animal protection agency after a tip leads to a raid.

It's a bloody and vicious past time that's going on right here in the Brazos Valley. Investigators were called to a Bedias home Sunday afternoon for a report of cockfighting.

Outside the home, investigators find dead birds, fresh blood, and an impressive rooster ring. More than 70 roosters were housed in individual huts, and were being primed and prepped for fighting.

Inside the barns, investigators found, spurs, barbs, and steroids to make the birds stronger. An elaborate operation taking place in a rural backyard.

They're sights and sounds not too uncommon for this rural part of Grimes County. Here, chicken farms run abundant as do the chickens themselves.

"The roosters are very well taken care. You see a lot of breeding pens, you see many hens, a lot of baby chicks," Meera Nandlal with the Houston SPCA.

One thing you usually don't see though, is the Houston SPCA.

"They died a very hard death, they fought until one died. That's very abusive, that's very cruel," Nandlal said.

Meera Nandlal, with the SPCA says her group was called out to collect the remaining chickens, after sheriffs deputies notified them of a centuries old blood sport going on in a Bedias backyard.

"We discovered 17 dead fighting roosters," Lt. Blake Jarvis with the Grimes County Sheriff's Department said. "This is the little ring, as you can see the fresh feathers."

Lt. Blake Jarvis says it was in the ring, roosters would battle to the death, and spectators would watch and wager on who would come out on top.

"There was 17 illegal fights yesterday with roosters who fight to the death using knives, the bets were 350 dollars per bet, per fight," Jarvis said.

The farm caretaker Roberto Cardona-Gonzalez was arrested, and later the owner Eldifonso "Eddie" Montano, who investigators say has been developing the cockfighting ring since 2001.

"His dream was to have this facility, or have a facility like this to raise cock-fighting roosters," Jarvis said.

That dream, is a nightmare for workers of the SPCA who say cockfighting is all too common in the state.

In Bedias, they found nearly 200 chickens still alive, many still in leg restraints, and injured, in a gruesome past time that can go on right in our own backyard.

"He certainly is making a profit off these birds and cockfighting," Jarvis said.

Officials with the Houston SPCA say they will house the birds, and get them any medical attention they may need, over the coming days.

The group says it will then have to wait until a court date is set to see if the chickens will be officially turned over to them, or go back to the owner.

Investigators with the Grimes County Sheriff's Office say they haven't seen a cock-fighting ring of this magnitude since 2001.

Fighting roosters is a felony and can be punishable by up to two years in prison or a fine of $10,000.

Both men arrested in the case have been charged with one count of animal cruelty, but could face up to 17 charges of cruelty for each rooster that died.

In Texas, it is not a crime to watch cockfighting.

The TV show Animal Planet was also on site for the seizing of the animals.


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