Authorities bust cock fighting ring

By Karen Kissiah

April 23, 2014

Nearly 50 people of all descriptions, young and old, male and female, were arrested or given citations for participating in a cock fight this past weekend near McBee, said Chesterfield County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Briana Davis.

Officers seized 148 roosters and $12,000 in cash, said Davis.

Many of the people participating in the event were from North Carolina. Davis said she asked one of the men why he would drive all the way down here “way back in the woods” to fight these birds.

“The money’s right,” was his reply.

Davis said her department received a call from the Marlboro County Sheriff’s Office that an anonymous caller indicated they would find cock fighting activity on Pritchard Farm Road.

“We gathered a SWAT team, the dog team, and plenty of officers to surround the area before we went in,” said Davis. The last time her department tried to round up a group of cock fighters most of the crowd was able to get away. “We didn’t want that to happen again.”

When officers arrived at what Davis described as a two-car garage and metal building, they found two separate pens with fights taking place in each. In addition to the money and the roosters, officers also confiscated devices, or metal talons, that are tied to the rooster’s legs to inflict even more harm on the opposing rooster.

As these creatures always fight to the death, officers also discovered several roosters on the scene that had already died.

The remaining roosters were transported to a facility recently purchased by the county at the corner of Hwy 9 and Hillian Edwards road. They will remain quarantined there until experts can determine the health of each rooster and its fate.

Volunteers from Carolina Waterfowl Rescue of Indian Trail, N.C., arrived Monday to help feed and care for the injured birds.

— Karen Kissiah can be reached at 843-537-5261.