Man pleads guilty to misdemeanor in cockfighting case.

July 16, 2018

German Gonzalez-Nava with attorney Anthony Greene and interpreter Kathy Fuehring.

Man pleads guilty to misdemeanor in cockfighting case.

#OceanaCountyCrime

By Allison Scarbrough, Editor.

HART — A 31-year-old Comstock Park man pleaded guilty in 27th Circuit Court Monday, July 16, to a misdemeanor charge of disorderly – gambling in connection to a cockfighting ring raided by police last month in Hart Township.

German Gonzalez-Nava is one of 16 men arrested in connection to the cockfighting ring on 72nd Avenue, where 10 roosters were found dead in a pit. Police confiscated razor spurs that were attached to the roosters’ feet and vials of injectable stimulant used to make the chickens more aggressive. Several of the birds had cuts from the razors. Police found 35 live roosters that were either in pens or actively fighting in the woods. Several suspects attempted to flee from police in the densely wooded area.

Gonzalez-Nava is one of four suspects who has an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainer.

“If you are not a US citizen, a plea to this charge will affect your citizenship status in US and could subject you to deportation and future re-entry,” Judge Robert D. Springstead said.

Gonzalez-Nava, who addressed the court through a Spanish-speaking interpreter, agreed to identify the cockfight organizers through photographs as part of his plea agreement. In exchange, he will receive no additional jail time, but will likely be ordered to pay some fines and costs. His original felony charge of attending an animal fight, which is punishable by up to four years in prison, was dismissed.

“The defendant is agreeing to give truthful testimony against the organizers of the chicken fight,” said Oceana County Prosecutor Joseph Bizon.

“What were you gambling on?” the judge asked. “Chickens,” Gonzalez-Nava answered.

The Honorable Robert D. Springstead of the 27th Circuit Court.

“Were you able to identify the people running the fights through photos?” The judge asked. “Yes,” he answered. “How many were attending?” Springstead questioned. “Approximately 20,” Gonzalez-Nava answered. “You were betting on the chickens?” the judged asked. “Yes,” he answered. “How much did you bet?” he asked. “Thirty dollars,” Gonzalez-Nava said.

“From the photo lineup, were your able to identify the man in charge of the chicken fight? And the woman collecting money for the chicken fight?” Gonzalez-Nava answered “yes” to both questions.

Sentencing is set for Sept. 10 at 9 a.m.

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