AGFC wildlife officers arrest 29 for cockfighting ring

DESHA COUNTY (KATV) - Arkansas Game and Fish Commission wildlife officers arrested 29 people after uncovering a cockfighting ring Sunday.

Several vehicles were parked near a canal on Hilburn Road located off of Arkansas Highway 138 near Kelso. During a routine patrol, officers found a large group of people surrounding what they later determined to be a cockfighting ring.

After contacting the group, several people fled the area on foot, but those individuals eventually returned to the scene.

Officers found 20 live chickens and 10 dead chickens at the scene. There was also stolen farm equipment with an estimated value of $5,000.

The 29 adult men were charged with cruelty to animals.{} If convicted, the defendants could face up to a year in jail and a fine up to $1,000. Ten individuals were also charged with fleeing a wildlife officer with a total bond of $2,200.