Accused Cockfighter Bonds Out

By Friday morning chickens wandered around all that was left of what the Jackson County Sheriff's Department describes as an elaborate cock fighting ring. Two days before, an anonymous tip led deputies to a house on Martin Avenue.

"Some of them you could tell had recently been fought. They had some recent injuries. They were still bleeding and there was some paraphernalia out in plain view," Lt. Ken McClenic said.

Investigators say inside the house they found homemade spurs, instructional manuals, syringes as well as medications and vitamins for the animals. Deputies say they also found this fake Texas drivers license belonging to Moises Barron Torres. He is the man now charged with one count of cockfighting.

McClenic said, "One of the Hispanic males admitted that he raised the chickens and trained them for fighting. He denied fighting them here in the United States. He says he trained them to transport back into Mexico to fight there where it is legal."

Lt. McClenic says the department took the injured and scarred game cocks they could tell had been used as fighters to the Jackson County Animal Shelter. He says the rest were left at Torres' home because the shelter couldn't handle them all. The Lieutenant says what some people consider a harmless sport is actually animal cruelty.

Lt. Ken McClenic said, "I can't describe the feeling you have when you see that. Just knowing that an animal was trained to kill another animal."

Jackson County investigators say cock fighting is a misdemeanor. Dog fighting, however, is a felony.

Lt. McClenic says at first a hold was placed on Moises Barron Torres to determine whether he was in the country legally.

The investigator says after two days of not hearing back from U.S. Customs, the department allowed the Mexican immigrant to bond out.