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17 People Arrested In Cockfighting Bust

Chickens sit in a barn at a poultry farm. (credit: Joern Pollex/Getty Images)

Chickens sit in a barn at a poultry farm. (credit: Joern Pollex/Getty Images)

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ALVARADO (CBSDFW.COM) - Sheriff’s deputies in Johnson County arrested 17 people late on Saturday night for taking part in a cockfighting exhibition. It happened in the 9300 block of Sally’s Way in Alvarado. Authorities said that a crowd gathered for the event and many other individuals fled from the scene.

Deputies were able to take 17 people into custody, however, and 16 of them have been charged with attending a cockfighting event as a spectator. The other suspect was arrested for cruelty to non-livestock animals.

According to Lt. Tim Jones of the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office, an investigation into the incident has led authorities to three other people who will also be charged with cruelty to non-livestock animals. Two of those individuals will be charged with cockfighting, too.

Officials and the Humane Society of North Texas recovered 97 roosters, hens, young chickens and chicks from the scene, but six of the animals have reportedly died from injuries. Another three to five animals could soon die, or need to be euthanized.

Investigators also found cockfighting paraphernalia at the scene, along with drugs, alcohol, gambling charts and a pistol.

The names of those who were arrested have not been released.

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