Archive for Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Two arrested in suspected Douglas County cockfighting ring; 169 birds seized from property

November 17, 2009

Two people were arrested Tuesday after a cockfighting operation was raided at a rural Douglas County home east of Vinland, authorities said.

Officers removed 169 birds from the property, 2174 N. 700 Road, including 118 gamecocks, 48 hens and three chicks, said Ken McGovern, Douglas County sheriff.

The raid was conducted Tuesday morning after several months of planning, according to the sheriff’s and district attorney’s offices. Officials said items believed to be used in the illegal operation also were seized.

Ezequiel Olivas, 44, was charged Tuesday with three counts of conducting cockfighting and one charge of possession of cockfighting paraphernalia.

Charges were expected to filed against a second suspect, a 40-year-old man living at the house, late Tuesday or Wednesday.

Olivas is the first person charged for felony cockfighting in Kansas. The crime, which is illegal in all states, became a felony in Kansas in July.

Douglas County District Attorney Charles Branson said the charge carries a probation or prison sentence, depending on the suspect’s criminal history.

The Kansas Highway Patrol, Johnson County Sheriff’s Office, Lawrence Police Department, Lenexa Police Department, Overland Park Police Department, Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, Kansas Animal Health Department, the Lawrence Humane Society and the Humane Society of the United States participated in the investigation and in Tuesday’s operation.

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