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Search for drugs in south Phoenix home leads DEA agents to 'cockfighting' facility

The DEA Task Force served a search warrant when they made the discovery Thursday morning.

PHOENIX — A search for drugs at a south Phoenix home led federal authorities to discover what they believed was a cockfighting ring in the backyard.

The Drug Enforcement Administration Task Force served a search warrant at the home near 15th Avenue and Broadway Road Thursday morning. During the search, officers located several roosters in the backyard and suspected the property doubled as a cockfighting facility.

The Phoenix Police Department was called out to assist. When detectives responded, they discovered numerous items of evidence that indicated cockfighting was occurring, Sgt. Brian Bower told 12News.

Over a hundred caged and loose roosters were found in the backyard. Video from the 12News drone showed more than 40 cages in the home’s backyard. Several other structures could be seen.

Neighbors told 12News that inside those structures were stands and a ring built to carry out the illegal fights that allegedly happened every other Saturday.

Credit: 12News

The Arizona Human Society’s investigator and medical teams responded to take custody of the roosters.

Due to the animal's “medical condition and aggression, the humane decision to euthanize the roosters on the scene was made,” a spokesperson for AHS said in a statement.

Over 120 roosters were put down. One rooster could be seen in the home’s backyard Friday evening.

“This is just one of the more than 8,100 cases of suspected animal cruelty AHS assists local police with each year,” the organization said.

Phoenix detectives are now investigating how long this ring was operating. The department urges anyone to report any suspicious activity in their community.

“If they see, or they hear, or they even smell the problem with a large number of roosters in their neighborhood, to please contact Silent Witness or Phoenix police directly,” Sgt. Bower said.

One suspect was arrested and is facing federal charges, along with animal cruelty and being involved in cockfighting activity.

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