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Cockfighting ring busted north of the Twin Cities, 10 facing charges

One person at the scene was captured after a police chase.

A wild scene unfolded in east-central Minnesota Thursday evening as deputies from the Chisago County Sheriff's Office busted a cockfighting event. 

Deputies were alerted to the possible cockfighting operation and arrived to a location in the 11000 block of St. Croix Trail in Sunrise Township to find a cockfighting competition in progress. 

One suspect, a 39-year-old Maplewood man, got into a vehicle and sped away, leading to a high-speed chase that was thwarted by a deputy completing a successful PIT maneuver. The man was arrested and taken into custody. 

A total of 10 people, including the suspect who fled, are facing pending charges of felony animal fighting/possession of fighting animals. Bring Me The News does not typically name the accused until formal charges are filed, but their ages and location of residence are as follows: 

  • 26-year-old from North Branch
  • 40-year-old from St. Paul
  • 47-year-old from Brooklyn Center
  • 31-year-old from St. Paul
  • 33-year-old from St. Paul
  • 36-year-old from Brooklyn Park
  • 31-year-old from St. Paul
  • 28-year-old from Fairview, Missouri
  • 32-year-old from Granby, Missouri
  • 39-year-old from Maplewood (fleeing suspect)

No one was injured in the bust, although a Chisago County Sheriff's Office squad vehicle sustained minor damage during the chase. 

Cockfighting is illegal in every state. In Minnesota, it is a felony for anyone involved in the promotion, engagement or employment of a cockfighting ring. It is a gross misdemeanor for anyone who attends a cockfighting event. Learn more about Minnesota's animal fighting laws here

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