Cockfighting ring busted in Pierce County
FUENTE: THE NEWS TRIBUNE
18 / SEPTIEMBRE / 2009
POSTED BY STACEY MULICK
Photo courtesy of Pierce County sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer
Investigators from Seattle police and Pierce County sheriff’s departments say they’ve busted a cockfighting ring operating in southeastern Pierce County.
Investigators from the two agencies, the Washington State Gambling Commission, the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department and Pierce County Animal Control are combing over the property where the ring operated, sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer said. The multi-acre property is located in the 32400 block of Meridian Avenue East near Kapowsin.
The Sheriff’s Department’s SWAT and Meth Lab teams made joint entry on the property today to serve search warrants. They contained 51 cocks so far and are trying to round up other loose birds, Troyer said.
Investigators also have uncovered a large marijuana grow operation involving hundreds of plants and active methamphetamine lab. They’ve seized stolen vehicles, stolen property and assault rifles.
One suspected organizer has been arrested and investigators were searching for one other, Troyer said. Deputies have booked a 38-year-old man into Pierce County Jail on suspicion of drug, possession of stolen property, animal fighting and professional gambling.
“We know who we are looking for,” he said. “There could be more arrested.”
The gambling commission is involved because of suspected gambling on the property.
Investigators suspect the cockfighting was taking place on the property.
“We believe they were manufacturing and selling marijuana and meth and fighting animals,” Troyer said.
The investigation started as a look into weapons.
“It snowballed into this,” Troyer said.
Investigators have found the ring used for the fights and the burial pit for the roosters.
UPDATE: Troyer said Seattle police detectives were involved in the investigation but declined to say anything else.
He did say today’s bust is not related to another cockfighting ring broken up in the Seattle area.