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Hit-and-run call ends with arrests in Florida cockfighting ring, deputies say

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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.

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