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CHILDREN USED AS FRONT FOR COCK FIGHT

Saturday afternoon  an anonymous tip was forwarded to the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office.  This information indicated a “cock fighting ring” was in operation at 228 C.R. 4872 in the Dayton area of Liberty County.

Liberty County  Deputies arrived and initially observed a children’s party, complete with a water slide in front of the location.  However, once the fight participants saw the Deputies from behind the party, they began to flee to their vehicles and on foot into the tree line.  Deputies blocked the one entrance / exit at which time, in the suspect’s desperation and lack of regard for the children’s safety, began to speed and actually crash into one another, just feet from the children.  The suspects then drove around a Deputies vehicle, crashing through a wooden fence and fleeing in multiple directions from the scene.

Deputies, fearing for the safety of the children, who were now standing near the picnic table and water slide, crying, entered onto the property and discovered a gruesome scene, just feet away from where the children had just been playing.

Found on the property were numerous dead and dying fowl.  There was a small barn constructed with a “fighting ring” inside, complete with scales, tags, entry slips and other evidence of the “cock fights”.  Additionally there were numerous live fowl, still pinned in cages throughout the entire property, some still armed with steel blades attached.   Some of these fowl were found in serious condition suffering from cuts and loss of blood.

There was one firearm and a steel machete located near an makeshift kitchen area where food was being prepared and sold to the fight participants.  At this point the children’s party  is believed to have only been a “front” to the organized criminal activity taking place just feet away from the children.

Liberty County Sheriff, Henry Patterson was advised of this incident and he too, responded to the scene.  After arriving and observing the severity of the scene, he coordinated the efforts of Liberty County Investigators and the SPCA who was contacted and responded with all of their available resources.  Liberty County Attorney Hinch  also responded to the scene and assisted in the Investigative efforts.

Several of the vehicles found on the property had been specifically modified for the transport of these birds.  One trailer had been modified with carpeted wooden cages, lights, air conditioning and an exhaust system.  A total of 48 birds were recovered alive, many of value in excess of $1,000.00 each.  Eight motor vehicles were removed from the property an two large four wheelers, with no VIN plates were also recovered. Vehicle at the location were from various locations in and outside Liberty County. Several from Brazoria County.

Two arrests were made at the scene.  Jose Lara  and Irasema Ramirez were transported to the Liberty County Jail for Fail to Identify and Interfering with a Law Enforcement Investigation.  Additional charges may be forthcoming and more arrest can be expected from this incident as the investigation moves forward.

This was a large scale, organized criminal activity.  This type of criminal activity, unfortunately,  is also taxing on Law Enforcement and SPCA resources as personnel were on this scene for over eight hours, with much of the time outside working through and the collection of evidence.

Also, located on the property and removed by SPCA Officials were a horse and two dogs which were also in poor condition.  The Liberty County Sheriff’s Office Special Crimes Unit and the Texas Department of Public Safety – Criminal Law Enforcement Section will be working closely together throughout this investigation.

 

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           IRASENA RAMIREZ                                                        JOSE LARA

 

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