70 arrested, drugs seized in cockfighting raid in Patrick County
PATRICK COUNTY, Va. — A raid on a site in Claudeville on Saturday led to the arrests of 70 individuals on charges of conducting illegal cockfights that investigators say have links to the Mexican drug cartels, the Martinsville Bulletin reported.
Cash, methamphetamine, firearms, weapons and vehicles also were seized when 50 officers executed a search warrant at 435 Long Branch Road in Claudeville at 12:45 p.m., a Patrick County Sheriff’s Office release said.
Patrick County Sheriff Dan Smith said the site was a known venue for cockfighting, which is a felony in Virginia, and that evidence collected during the investigation shows that the operation is Mexican-based and put on events in both North Carolina and Virginia.
The release said that participants from as far away as Texas and Georgia allegedly traveled to engage in the illegal activity.
Conditions on the property were deplorable, according to the release. Numerous chicken carcasses were found along with several caged chickens waiting to be fought. Gaffs, or elongated razors, were found attached to the spurs of both live and dead chickens.