TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Two Collier County men were accused of cockfighting in DeSoto County after deputies said they were originally called to a potential hit-and-run on Sunday.
The DeSoto County Sheriff’s Office said Walter Hernandez Jimenez and Jose Alfredo Gabriel-Sanchez were arrested and charged with trespassing on property other than a structure or conveyance and fighting or baiting animals.
Deputies said Jimenez and Gabriel-Sanchez travelled to DeSoto County from Immokalee.
According to NBC 2, deputies responded to a possible hit-and-run, which turned out to be a fight between the two. As they continued to investigate, they said they uncovered a cockfighting ring.
Deputies found several dead birds, NBC 2 reported. Eight roosters were still alive and taken to DeSoto County Animal Services. The news station also reported in similar past investigations, animals were held and examined by a vet as evidence during the investigation.
Jimenez and Gabriel-Sanchez were just the first two charged in the cockfighting ring, NBC 2 reported as there could be additional arrests and charges.
Florida is one of the 42 states that charges cockfighting as a felony.