80 arrested after Virginia authorities break up cockfighting ring

Virginia News

STUART, Va. (AP) — An 18-month investigation into a cockfighting ring in southwestern Virginia has led to the arrest of 80 people, many of them from North Carolina.

Patrick County Sheriff Dan Smith tells media outlets that more than 50 officers from various law enforcement agencies made the arrests Saturday at a property in Claudville, Virginia, just north of Surry County in North Carolina.

Smith says the property has been used previously for cockfighting, which is a felony under Virginia law. He says the evidence showed the ring is based in Mexico, with people from states such as Georgia and Texas participating.

The sheriff says investigators believe drug cartels used part of the money for other criminal activities.

Smith says numerous chicken carcasses were found along with several caged birds waiting to be fought.

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