Lee County cockfighting ring bust
FORT MYERS, Fla. - A tip led Lee County Sheriff's investigators to bust a suspect cockfighting ring in Fort Myers.
The probe started late last month when a potential buyer of a property in the 5100 block of Neal Road noticed a large number of roosters on the land.
Detectives with the Sheriff's Office, along with deputies with the Agriculture Unit and officers with Lee County Animal Services eventually gathered enough evidence for a search warrant.
They found more than 100 roosters, hens and chickens were on the property at the time. It's been concluded the livestock was being bred and used in illegal cockfighting.
An area of the property was used for the fights. Beer bottles lined the shelves of a makeshift bar, while tables and cages for the roosters were adjacent for prepping the animals before placing them in the ring.
Arrested was 50-year-old Robert Torres. He is charged with baiting, breeding, training, transporting, selling, owning, possessing, or using any wild or domestic animal for the purpose of animal fighting or baiting; a third degree felony. He also faces a charge of owning, leasing, managing, operating, or having control of any property kept or used for such activity also a third degree felony.
The animals have been inspected by a veterinarian and will be temporarily housed at the Sheriff's Office Detention Compound, agriculture impound area. As is customary, the fowl will have to be euthanized once a judges order is received.