The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Police/Courts

April 15, 2014

2 brothers arrested in cockfighting investigation

OAKVALE — A cockfighting bust by the West Virginia State Police has led to the arrest of two Mercer County brothers.

Members of the Princeton detachment of the West Virginia State Police, along with members of the Mercer County Sheriff’s Department, conducted an investigation into reported cockfighting Saturday night at 9:45 p.m. on Brown’s Cemetery Road near Oakvale, First Sgt. M.R. Crowder, district commander of the State Police Princeton and Welch detachments, said.

“Upon arrival, it was evident a cockfight had occurred but was currently not active,” Crowder said. “Two roosters were discovered severely injured in a barrel, along with a number of fighting roosters on the property.”

Crowder said the owner of the property, Stacey Brown, 43, and his brother, Gilbert Brown, 45, both of Brown’s Cemetery Road, were charged with hosting an illegal venture. Three other individuals were cited for attendance at an illegal venture. All of the charges are misdemeanors.

“Game fighting spurs were seized, along with six fighting roosters,” Crowder said. The spurs were covered in blood.

Crowder said an additional 153 birds were slated to be seized by humane society officials.

Mercer County Animal Control Officer Tracy Monninger said six roosters were confiscated, and approximately 145 birds remained to be picked up. More than 100 of the birds were roosters.

“We weren’t ready for anything of that magnitude,” she said.

Chicken coops were being constructed Monday evening at the Mercer County Animal Shelter’s barn. Roosters trained for fighting must be housed separately, Monninger said.

“We’re treating their injuries,” she said of the six injured roosters that were confiscated Saturday. “They’re pretty bad. They’ve got a lot of punctures and gashes on their heads and bodies. We can’t see it all because of the feathers.”

The rest of the roosters and chickens were to be transported to the animal shelter Monday.

Several troopers and deputies with the Mercer County Sheriff’s Department were at the scene on Brown’s Cemetery Road Saturday night, Crowder said.

Trooper B.R. Wood is the lead investigator on the case.

— Bluefield Daily Telegraph reporter Greg Jordan contributed to this report.

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