Belle Glade Sun

48 arrested in cockfighting operation

Authorities raided an alleged cockfighting operation on Utopia Street in Clewiston.
Photo: Google maps

Nearly 50 people from several counties across South Florida were arrested the day after Christmas when authorities raided a cockfighting operation in Montura, the Hendry County Sheriff’s Office reports.

At approximately 5 p.m. on Dec. 26, the Hendry County Sheriff’s Office served a search warrant at the address of 435 S. Utopia, Clewiston, in the Montura Ranch Estates community.

Sheriff’s deputies, with assistance from the Florida Agricultural Criminal Intelligence Unit, deputies from Collier, Lee, Charlotte and Palm Beach counties, as well as Florida Wildlife Commission and the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office Air Support unit, arrested 48 men.

During the raid, law enforcement and animal control officers reportedly found 83 caged roosters and a full-scale fighting ring set up inside an illegally built structure on the property.

Of those arrested, five were from the Glades area; most were from Dade, Collier, Lee, Hillsborough and Palm Beach counties and ranged in age from 21 to 86 years.

All those arrested were charged with Fighting and Baiting, a third degree felony, and released on $3,500 bond.

Those arrested include: