24 Arrested in Cockfighting Ring

Police acted on a tip to break up cockfights; animals severely injured

Police arrested 24 people after a large cockfighting ring was discovered in Tewksbury, Massachusetts, according to officials.

The suspects, all from New Hampshire and Massachusetts, were allegedly pitting birds to fight each other while wearing "spurs."

Several of the animals were severely injured, police said in a release Saturday.

Neighbors say they were unaware the alleged cruelty was happening in the home.

"You think Chicago, LA, out that way," said Wayne Shea. "Not quiet little Tewksbury."

When police arrived, they found the home was rigged on the outside with motion sensors and video surveillance.

"There were like seven police cars and a big wagon showed up," said neighbor Debbie Bennett.

Authorities recovered 18 "game cocks" of unknown origins. Five of the animals appeared severely injured.

Police also confiscated more than $13,000.

The following suspects were charged with cruelty to animals and being present during an illegal animal fight:

  • Vicente Sanchez, 31, Lawrence, Massachusetts
  • Cynthia Gonzalez, 41, Lawrence, Massachusetts
  • Armando Maciel, 55, Merrimack, New Hampshire
  • Naury Rojas, 28, Lawrence, Massachusetts
  • Itari Ribeiro Jr., 40, Boylston, Massachusetts
  • Luis Castillo, 27, Lawrence, Massachusetts
  • Ismeal Ortiz, 30, Lawrence, Massachusetts
  • Felix Maldonado, 40, Salem, New Hamsphire
  • Angel Chinea, 32, Lowell Massachusetts
  • Carlos Castillo, 30, Lawrence, Massachusetts
  • Angel Renta, 25, Brookline, Massachusetts
  • Joan Mireles, 36, Lowell Massachusetts
  • Rafael Cardoso, 25, Dracut, Msasachusetts
  • Yan Ramirez, 25, Lawrence, Massachusetts
  • Victor Rolon-Hernandez, 26, Fitchburg, Massachusetts
  • Jorge Martinez, 43, Fitchburg, Massachusetts
  • Juan Estevez, 47, Lawrence, Massachusetts
  • Victor De Los Santos, 50, Lawrence, Massachusetts
  • Richard Ramirez, 24, Lawrence, Massachusetts
  • Deyvi Martinez, 36, Lawrence, Massachusetts
  • Carlos De La Cruz, 30, Lawrence, Massachusetts
  • Daury Medina, 30, Methuen, Massachusetts
  • Frank Castro, 41, Boston
  • Janet Montanes, 40, Tewksbury, Massachusetts

In addition, Castro and Montanes face charges of keeping or promoting an animal fight.

Stay with necn as the story develops.

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