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Cottageville cockfighting ring shut down

Colleton cops stopped a large cockfighting ring while it was happening, and ultimately arrested 31 people for operating that illegal cockfighting ring.
The arrests happened on Saturday, May 13th, when deputies from the Colleton County Sheriff’s Office were at a house located at 756 Sullivans Ferry Rd. in Cottageville. Law enforcement officers were tipped off that cockfighting was occurring at this property. After receiving that tip, deputies set up surveillance on the property and then obtained a search warrant, according to Lt. Tyger Benson, spokesman for the Colleton County Sheriff’s Office.
Once there on Saturday, Benson says deputies found “a large amount of roosters, or gamecocks,” along with cockfighting equipment and nearly $37,000 in cash.
Consequently, 31 people on the property were arrested. None of those who were arrested are Colleton County residents, said Benson. The owner of the property is also a resident of North Charleston, Benson said. Of the 31 people arrested, 17 are still in custody at the Colleton County Detention Center and are “on hold” for Immigrations and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE).

“This seemed to be a very organized criminal event, from the cockpit (fighting ring), to the housing and transportation of the animals, and also the equipment used on the animals to engage in the actual fighting,” said Benson.
Also taken from the property were dozens of animals. According to Benson, 25 dead gamecocks were removed after they “succumbed” to their injuries. 
Animal Cruelty Consultant and Forensic Expert Michelle Reid with the Valiant Animal Rescue & Relief Association is working with the sheriff’s office on this case. “The investigation is still ongoing,” said Benton.

Heather Walters (1287 Posts)