While patrolling US Highway 59 on Saturday, a K9 Unit with Montgomery County Pct. 4 Constable Kenneth “Rowdy” Hayden’s Office initiated a traffic stop on a vehicle that ended up being full of roosters and equipment bound for a cockfighting tournament.
Around 8:30 a.m. on Oct. 23, the Pct. 4 K9 deputy stopped an SUV for alleged multiple violations on US Highway 59 near Wilshire Dr. in East Montgomery County. During the traffic stop, the deputy reportedly could hear roosters crowing in the back of the vehicle. Upon further investigation, the deputy allegedly learned the three occupants were all headed to a cockfighting tournament.
A consensual search of the vehicle revealed 10 roosters, dozens of steel slashers, thousands of dollars in cash, as well as other items used in the illegal activity of cockfighting. The contraband was all seized, including the roosters. Montgomery County Animal Services and the Pct. 2 Animal Cruelty Task Force assisted with the investigation and seizure of the animals.
The three suspects, Joseph Arbizu, Jeronimo Barcenas, and Mario Benitez, were all charged with Animal Cruelty – Cockfighting, a State Jail Felony, and booked into the Montgomery County Jail.
“It’s a crime to abuse and kill animals, especially when it’s for sport. We will do what’s necessary to lock up those suspected of animal cruelty,” said Constable Hayden.