Man arrested for cockfighting says he sold roosters to Mexico

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by DREW MIKKELSEN / KING 5 News

NWCN.com

Posted on April 22, 2014 at 5:17 PM

Updated Tuesday, Apr 22 at 8:17 PM

OLYMPIA, Wash. -- A Thurston County man arrested on animal cruelty charges and accused of raising fighting roosters said he has sold the birds to Mexico, according to investigators.

Agents with the state's gambling commission say Victor Hugo Gallegos Chavez trained roosters to fight on his farm in Rochester.

For more than two years investigators have been watching Chavez with a hidden camera pointed at his property.

According to court documents, agents watched Chavez holding a roosters close to each other to taunt and tease them. Investigators believe he was training them to fight.

A neighbor's complaint started the investigation in 2011.

Agents said Chavez made the admission about selling the roosters to Mexico during an earlier visit, but he did not confess to any crimes when he was arrested Monday.

Agents seized nearly 300 roosters and hens along with blades believed to be used in cockfighting.

Paperwork and shipping information led agents to believe roosters had been sold to someone in Texas.

A judge ordered Chavez held on $25,000 bail.

Chavez's mother-in-law, Raquel Martinez, allegedly told investigators that Chavez sold roosters for fights in Portland as recently as Sunday.

Along with the animal cruelty charges, Chavez was booked into jail on animal fighting and professional gambling charges.

If he posts bail, Chavez will not be allowed to live with any animals.

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