News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Breaking News

Local & Bistate

March 20, 2013

Two arrested after search finds alleged cockfighting operation in Vigo, Sullivan counties

PRAIRIE CREEK — Police uncovered what appeared to be a two-county cockfighting operation Tuesday in Sullivan and Vigo counties. They also uncovered a large quantity of marijuana at one residence where the birds were present, police said Tuesday night.

Sheriff’s deputies from Sullivan and Vigo counties, acting on a “citizen’s report,” searched a residence, including a barn, on Indiana 246 near Prairie Creek late Tuesday afternoon. Their search uncovered alleged signs of cockfighting and cockfighting paraphernalia, said Clark Cottom, chief deputy for the Vigo County Sheriff’s Department, who was at the scene.

Late Tuesday night, George Piker of the 3500 block of West Indiana 246, was arrested by sheriff's officers from Vigo and Sullivan counties, Cottom said. Piker faces 30 counts of possessing animals for fighting purposes and one count of possession of paraphernalia for animal fighting, Cottom said.

“When we arrived, we did see a large number of birds that were pinned up in cages … multiple animals in the same cage,” Cottom said. “And our humane officer felt what he believed was possibly animal abuse [was] going on.”

A search uncovered deceased birds, rooster fighting paraphernalia and alleged “signs of animal abuse,” Cottom said. More than 100 birds were estimated to be at the scene, he said.

“There are certain ways that they prepare the animals to engage in fighting,” Cottom told news reporters at the scene. “These animals show signs that they have been prepared for fighting.”

Information received during that search led police to a second residence, this one on the northeast edge of Sullivan, where city police secured that residence while deputies made their way there, Cottom said.

Once a warrant was obtained for the second residence, police discovered more birds, cockfighting paraphernalia and also a large amount of marijuana, Cottom said. The exact amount was unavailable Tuesday night, but it was believed to exceed the amount of marijuana necessary to bring felony charges, he said.

In connection with the second search, police arrested Jeffery McMahan, 54, of Sullivan. He was taken to the Sullivan County jail.

Owning animals for fighting purposes is a class-D felony under Indiana law. Owning animal fighting paraphernalia is a class-A misdemeanor.

Indiana State Department of Health officials were also involved Tuesday. They were there to make sure the surviving animals receive proper care, Cottom said.

Cottom said police received information about the possible animal cruelty case early Tuesday afternoon. The investigation was a joint effort of the Vigo and Sullivan county sheriff’s departments and also prosecutor’s offices in both counties. The Sullivan city police also assisted in the case, he said.

“All of the agencies worked together very, very well,” Cottom said late Tuesday.

The Humane Society of the United States defines cockfighting as a bloodsport in which birds are placed in a ring to fight to the death as people place bets on the outcome.

Reporter Arthur Foulkes can be reached at 812-231-4232 or arthur.foulkes@tribstar.com

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local & Bistate
Latest News
TribStar.com Poll
AP Video
Renewed Violence Taking Toll on Gaza Residents Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Gaza Truce Unravels; Israel, Hamas Trade Blame Raw: Tunisia Closes Borders With Libya WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat 2 Americans Detained in North Korea Seek Help Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Four Rescued From Crashed Plane House GOP Optimistic About New Border Bill Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene US Employers Add 209K Jobs, Rate 6.2 Pct Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle Raw: Obama Gets Hug From Special Olympian Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo
NDN Video
Under Armour Launches Biggest Women's Campaign with Inspiring Ad NYPD chokehold death of Eric Garner was homicide: medical examiner Christina Aguilera Pulls a Demi Moore! Man with no arms throws first pitch Chapter Two: Composing for a film in retirement Is Justin Bieber Dating a Model? Guardians of the Galaxy (Trailer) 'Sharknado 2:' Hottest Memes Surfing The Net Snoop Dogg Narrating Animal Footage Is Perfect Raw: Obama Gets Hug From Special Olympian Recapping a Blockbuster MLB Trade Deadline Tigers Acquire David Price - @TheBuzzeronFOX Russell Brand Slams Sean Hannity Over Gaza Conflict Segment Woman's Dive Goes Terribly Wrong Brian Williams Reports on Daughter Allison Williams' 'Peter Pan' Casting News Did Jimmy Fallon Look Up Heidi Klum's Dress? What Drama? Miranda Kerr Poses Topless Plane crashes in San Diego Costco parking lot Justin Bieber Takes To Instagram To Diss Orlando Bloom You Won't Believe the Celeb Cameos in "Sharknado 2"
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -

     

    March 12, 2010

activity