PLANT CITY, Fla. - Eleven people face charges after Hillsborough County deputies busted a cockfighting ring behind a Plant City home Tuesday afternoon.
According to Sgt. Steve Lewis, an anonymous tip led them to the home at 513 Greenway Drive. When they arrived, deputies report they stumbled upon a cock fight in progress.
"There's a dead rooster inside the ring," said Sgt. Lewis. "There's a live one that was still attacking that rooster when they got here."
Deputies found about 50 living roosters ready to fight, spurs strapped to their legs. Many were covered with blood. A nearby hole held the bodies of roosters that recently died.
"I said, 'Here we go again,'" explained Eddie Herrington.
Herrington lives down the street and he's seen swarms of law enforcement at his neighbors before. The property owner, Guadalupe Herrera, faced charges for cockfighting in the backyard back in 2009. Herrera was arrested again today along with 10 other people.
"We thought that it was gone. We didn't know it was going on again until today when I saw people running across the pasture again," Herrington said.
Deputies call it cruelty, and a profitable kind, that may extend far beyond Plant City.
"There's actually some crates back there where you see he's shipping them all over the place," Sgt. Lewis said. "There's shipping labels on some of the boxes from different parts of the country and things like that."
Cross-country cockfighting or not, Herrington says two times on his street is two times too many.
"You can't be cruel to animals. That's it. People just don't do that," he said". If you're going to eat a chicken, fine. There's nothing wrong with raising a chicken for food. You don't raise them to fight. It's not right."
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