Police say suspect was involved in Minneapolis cockfighting ring

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Minneapolis police tell WCCO-TV one person is under arrest in what authorities say was a cockfighting ring operating out of a home on the city's north side.

WCCO's report says an anonymous tip led police to a home where officers found 19 roosters, four of which were dead.

A police spokesman confirmed to KSTP that there had been a raid in the 3500 block of Newton Avenue and said more information would be released on Wednesday.

WCCO says many of the surviving birds are in bad shape. Tom Doty, an animal control supervisor with the city, tells the station organizers of cockfights sometimes attach razor blades to roosters' talons to make the fights more bloody.

Doty says the cockfighting community is very closed and operations are hard to find. He adds that the crowds attending cockfights typically bet plenty of money and that weapons and drugs are often on hand.

In 2008 the Star Tribune reported on a 3 a.m. tip from a neighbor that led to a cockfighting raid in Anoka County where 25 people were cited. The report says authorities found blood splattered through the house in East Bethel and dead birds piled in cabinets.

This past weekend, sheriff's deputies in south Texas cited 54 people they say had set up a cockfighting arena in an Edinburg warehouse, KGBT-TV reports. The sheriff's office tells the station organizers initially claimed the roosters were there for medical research.

Historians have traced organized cockfighting back to the early 1600's but it is illegal in every U.S. state and a felony in 40 of them, according to The Humane Society of the United States. WCCO reports a conviction in Minnesota can bring up to five years in prison.
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