Man arrested on cockfighting charges in Greensboro

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- A man was arrested and more than 100 chickens were seized Wednesday after Guilford County deputies said the animals were being used or bred for cockfighting.

Umberto Almazan Rubio of Greensboro was arrested after deputies executed a search warrant at his home on Watlington Drive. Deputies said they went to his home after receiving a tip.

Deputies said they found more than 100 chickens, which included a mix of roosters, hens and chicks. The roosters' spurs and combs had been removed, which deputies said was a clue that the animals were used for fighting.

Most of the roosters were kept in what deputies estimated were 3-foot cages. Deputies said the cages were in poor condition.

Deputies said they also found medication that would help make the chickens larger and stronger, as well as heal injured animals.

Tethers were found anchored to the ground, and bands that would connect to the tether were found around the legs of larger birds, deputies said.

The roosters and hens were taken to the Guilford County Animal Shelter.  Director Marsha Williams said the roosters will have to be euthanized, while the hens and chicks could be adopted out if they pass a set of test conducted by agriculture officials.

"If they come back negative for any disease, then the hens and the bittys can go up for adoption," Williams said.

Rubio faces two felony charges, including cockfighting and altering the serial number of a firearm. He also faces one misdemeanor charge of animal cruelty.

He is being held in the Guilford County Jail under a $25,000 secured bond and with an immigration detainer.

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