Five plead in connection to cockfighting ring.

August 28, 2018

Five plead in connection to cockfighting ring.

#OceanaCountyCrime

By Allison Scarbrough, Editor.

Vasquez-Melchor

HART — Five men, including a Shelby man, charged with felony counts of attending an animal fight in connection to the cockfighting ring that was raided by police last June in Hart Township pleaded guilty in 27th Circuit Court Monday, Aug. 27.

Hector Francis Vasquez-Melchor, 20, of Shelby; Miguel Angel Alvares, 31, of Newaygo; Luis Alfonso Alvarez, 64, of Newaygo; Alejandro Raul Mendoza, 26, of Fennville; and Pedro Verduzco Mendoza,

Miguel Alvares

70, of Fennville all pleaded guilty to a felony of attending an animal fight, said Oceana County Prosecutor Joseph Bizon.

Each of the five men were placed on a 10-month deferred, supervised sentence.

If they abide by the terms during a 10-month probationary period, they can

Luis Alvarez

withdraw their pleas to the felony and plead to a misdemeanor charge of disorderly – gambling.

None of them have a significant criminal record, Bizon said.

A total of 18 suspects were arrested in connection to the cockfighting ring.

Ten dead roosters were found in a pit, and police confiscated razor spurs that

Alejandro Mendoza

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 the police in the densely wooded area.

Pedro Mendoza

The charge of animals – attending a fight is punishable by up to four years in prison.

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