(The AEGIS Alliance) – Seven individuals in Alabama have been apprehended for operating a big cockfighting enterprise that included prohibited gambling as well as breeding, according to authorities.
The offenders ran a cockfighting arena that had enough seats for 150 viewers with a number of various fighting pits starting in 2018, a federal indictment by the justice department reads.
The people who were apprehended, all individuals from Verbena, consist of age 75 William Colon “Big Jim” Easterling, age 37 Brent Colon Easterling, age 38 Kassi Brook Easterling, age 29 William Tyler Easterling, age 55 George William “Billy” Easterling, and age 33 Thomas Glyn “Junior” Williams, that are facing charges that include one count of conspiracy to violate the Animal Welfare Act and also to run an unlawful gambling company.
In addition, the suspects were charged together with age 23 Amber Nicole Easterling with a substantive count of running an unlawful gambling company. In addition, Tyler Easterling is charged with one violation of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act for the capture and killing death of a Great Horned Owl.
The Easterlings additionally ran 3 breeding functions close to the battling pit, where they marketed gamecocks as well as weapons to be used by the birds, along with one rooster costing as high as $800.
The offenders are each facing up to 5 years behind bars if found guilty.
Cockfights are ruthless battles through which bird owners equip razor blades onto the lower legs of roosters that have been trained which are utilized to slash and also stab their challengers up until the rooster’s death or decline to carry on battling, while fans place bets on the end result.
Often times one or both fowls end up dying. Fatally injured roosters are occasionally relocated off to the side while wagers are put on which creature is going to die first.
The arrests have been applauded by animal activist organizations including Animal Wellness Action and also the Animal Wellness Foundation.
The organizations had revealed a report in 2020 pinpointing Brent Easterling as a significant global trafficker of roosters bred for the purpose of fighting.
The organization pointed out that because cockfighting is actually decriminalized in Alabama, a federal indictment had been required to indict the animal traffickers.
“If law enforcement is going to shut down illegal cockfighting in my home state of Alabama, that work can only be by the Dept. of Justice because cockfighting is effectively decriminalized in the Yellowhammer State,” stated Marty Irby, Animal Wellness Action’s executive director, and a local of Mobile, Alabama.
“While dogfighting is a felony in Alabama, cockfighting warrants less in the way of penalties than a parking ticket, and the law hasn’t been updated since the 1800s. The action of the United States in saying that it will not tolerate animal fighting operations will reverberate from Mobile to Huntsville and everywhere in between.”
Kyle James Lee – The AEGIS Alliance – This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.