Cockfighting: Man Selling His Home Busted After Roosters and Beer Bar Shown to Prospective Buyer

| by Phyllis M Daugherty

Roberto Torres of 5171 Neal Road, Buckingham, Fla., was reportedly showing his three-bedroom home to a potential buyer, when the buyer may have become suspicious of the more than 100 caged roosters and hens in part of the yard.

There was also an area on the site used for cockfights, with a makeshift bar and beer bottles lining the shelves and tables. Cages were stacked nearby for prepping the roosters before they are put in the ring to fight, per a Lee County Sheriff’s report.

According to the Lehigh Acres Citizen, soon after the home viewing, an anonymous complaint about caged roosters at the site was called in to the Sheriff's Office.

On Oct. 9, a deputy with the Sheriff's Office's Agriculture Unit was dispatched to the site to investigate the tip and to determine see if domestic fowl or gamefowl were being used for cockfighting, as noted by the Lehigh Acres Citizen.

Lee County Animal Services officers were also assigned to investigate the tip and as a result, a search warrant was served at the Neal Road site to Torres.

According to a Lee County Sheriff's report, more than 100 roosters, hens and chickens were found on the property and it was concluded that Torres is running a breeding operation for birds to be used in illegal cockfighting.

Torres, 50, was charged with baiting, breeding, training, transporting, selling, owning, possessing or using any wild or domestic animal for the purpose of animal fighting or baiting, which is a third degree felony.

Officials said he also has been charged with owning, leasing, managing, operating or having control of any property kept or used for such activity, which also is a third degree felony.

The Sheriff’s officials stated in their report that the chickens have been inspected by a veterinarian for disease or injury and will be temporarily kept at the Sheriff's Office Detention Compound's agricultural impound area, while the investigation continues regarding the alleged cockfighting operation.

A spokesperson with the Sheriff's public information unit said the birds will have to be euthanized once a judge's order is received.

Torres was released on a $1,500 bond. His trial is scheduled in Lee County Court at 8:30 a.m. on Nov. 12.

Source: Lehigh Acres Citizen