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Nearly Half of Suspects at Cockfight are Suspected of Being Illegal Aliens

Press release March 12, 2012

(Maricopa County, AZ) Sheriff Arpaio announced today that 17 of the 40 suspects who were arrested over the weekend for being present at a cockfight are suspected of being illegal aliens. Included in the 17 is the homeowner, Pedro Reyes-Lopez, who is also facing various felony charges.

On Saturday night, Maricopa County Sheriff’s deputies assigned to the Animal Cruelty Unit went to Lopez’s residence located at 2415 S. 6th Avenue in Phoenix to serve a search warrant. Deputies received a tip from the animal cruelty hotline that the residence was being used for cockfights. Once at the property, deputies saw evidence that a cockfight was in progress at the residence. Numerous subjects fled upon deputies arrival but all were taken into custody. Numerous individuals had warrants out for their arrest.

Deputies located 23 birds that were either deceased, badly injured or awaiting their turn to fight. Evidence including scales and gaffs (sharpened knives for the birds) were found on the premises.

Deputies located cocaine and approximately $8,000.00 in cash on scene. They also located evidence that an electric power box on scene had been tampered with.

Sheriff Arpaio says, “I take animal cruelty seriously and all of the subjects were booked into jail. We continue to see problems with cockfighting in the county and my deputies will continue to find them. We will continue to investigate and arrest those involved in this vicious activity. While these fights may be acceptable in other countries, it remains illegal here.”