Five men sentenced in connection to cockfighting ring.

October 22, 2018

Hector Vasquez-Melchor with attorney Eric Fox.

Five men sentenced in connection to cockfighting ring.

#OceanaCountyCrime

By Allison Scarbrough, Editor.

HART — Five men, including a Shelby man, were sentenced in 27th Circuit Court Monday, Oct. 22, for felony convictions of attending an animal fight in connection to the cockfighting ring that was raided by police last June in Hart Township.

Hector Francis Vasquez-Melchor, 20, of 101 72nd Ave., Shelby;

Miguel Alvarez and attorney Richard Kessler

Miguel Angel Alvares, 31, of Newaygo; Luis Alfonso Alvarez, 64, of Newaygo; Alejandro Raul Mendoza, 26, of Fennville; and Pedro Verduzco Mendoza, 70, of Fennville all pleaded guilty last August.

They were placed on 10-month deferred sentences. If they abide by the terms of their supervised probation, they can withdraw their pleas to the felony after 10 months and plead to a misdemeanor. If violate any probation terms, then they are convicted of a felony.

Luis Alvarez with attorney Richard Kessler and interpreter Kathy Fuehring.

Each defendant is responsible for paying an equal portion of $951.80 in restitution.

Sentencing guidelines in the cases are 0-30 days.

The alleged ring leader — Lazaro Daniel Madrigal, 36, of 101 S. 72nd

Alejandro Mendoz with attorney Matthew Kacel.

Ave. — rejected a plea agreement offered by the Oceana County Prosecutor’s Office that calls for a three-month cap on a jail sentence.

Madrigal faces a felony count of animals – fighting and a second-offense habitual offender notice.

A trial set for Nov. 28 and Nov. 29.

The other men are slated to appear in court Aug. 26.

Pedro Mendoza, center, with his attorney Matthew Kacel and interpreter Kathy Fuehring.

A total of 18 suspects were arrested in connection to the cockfighting ring. Their criminal cases have been going through the court system over the last several months.

Ten dead roosters were found in a pit, and police confiscated razor spurs that were attached to the roosters’ feet and vials of injectable

Lazaro Madrigal with attorney Ryan Good.

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.

This story is copyrighted © 2018, all rights reserved by Media Group 31, LLC, PO Box 21, Scottville, MI 49454. No portion of this story or images may be reproduced in any way, including print or broadcast, without expressed written consent.

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