On March 6, a 72-year-old New York man who was accused of owning a large cockfighting ring was sentenced to just under one year in prison. According to the attorney general, the man's farm spanned 92 acres and supplied roosters that had been trained to fight.
When the farm was raided, authorities reportedly seized more than 3,000 birds and cockfighting paraphernalia, including steroids and stuffed training chickens. Initially, it was stated that the seized birds were taken to an unknown location, but it was reported that most of the roosters were eventually put down.
The accused man ultimately pleaded guilty to animal fighting, a felony. In addition to the jail sentence, the man was also ordered to pay a $1,870 and can never legally own animals once he is released. A second person, a 61-year-old man, also pleaded guilty to a felony sentence. His attorney stated that he was responsible for collecting the rent for the owner of the farm. He was also ordered to serve nine months in jail.
In the state of New York, cockfighting or other types of organized animal fights are illegal. Anyone who is accused of being involved in or participating in an organized animal fighting operation could potentially face legal consequences, including being charged with a felony. Depending on the circumstances of the case, a criminal law attorney may potentially defend their client against the charges. In some cases, they may have evidence that demonstrates that the accused person was not involved in the ring or that they were unaware that they were playing a part in the illegal activity. If the evidence against them is strong, the attorney may negotiate a plea deal that reduces the severity of any punishments.
Source: RecordOnline.com, "Cockfighting kingpin gets 9 months in jail," James Nani, March 6, 2015