Sheriff’s deputies arrested 40 people in a major bust of an alleged Texas cockfighting ring they say was run by a major cocaine distributor in the area.
The bust was made during a raid shortly before noon Jan. 23 on a home south of Midland, according to the Midland Reporter-Telegram.
There, officers recovered 30 live roosters, several dead birds, 46 ounces of cocaine, guns and about $32,000. Also found were rooster cages, as well as sharpened razor blades, or “gaffs,”that are tied to roosters’ feet to make their fights more brutal.
Midland County Sheriff Gary Painter told the Reporter-Telegram that the alleged cockfighting ring was being operated by the home owner, Lionel Garcia, 35, of Midland, whose wife owns the house.
Painter called Garcia “a heavy cocaine distributor,” according to the Reporter-Telegram, and said he and his wife charged spectators $20-$100 to watch cockfights and participants as much as$1,000 to enter four roosters into the fights. They also sold beer to spectators and were “known to have cocaine and large amounts of money at the cockfights,” according to court records.
Agencies participating in the bust included the Midland County Sheriff’s Office, Ector County Sheriff’s Office, Texas Department of Public Safety, Drug Enforcement Agency and the Department of Homeland Security.