Jul. 20—MAYO, Fla. — Three Valdosta men were among 30 people arrested last week as part of an investigation into illegal cockfighting rings in north Florida, authorities said Tuesday.
Federal, state and local government agencies, including the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Lafayette County Sheriff's Office, executed a search warrant last week at 1915 SE Calhoun Road, Mayo, Fla., said a statement from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
Investigators found participants and an audience "actively engaged in the illegal blood sport of fighting or baiting animals" and made arrests. Law enforcement K9 units tracked down several who attempted to flee.
Three dead birds and 41 live birds, plus firearms, cash and illegal substances were seized as part of "Operation Fowl Play," authorities said.
Preciliano Carrillo Jr., 35, Jesus Cavillio, 41, and Ismael Nava, 47, all of Valdosta, are each charged with a third-degree felony count of attending the fighting or baiting of animals, the statement said.
Terry Richards is senior reporter at The Valdosta Daily Times.