By Reg Chapman

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minneapolis police have busted a cockfighting ring on the city’s north side.

An anonymous call sent investigators to the 3500 block of Newton Avenue North. A search warrant got them inside, where they found 19 roosters involved in cockfighting.

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The roosters were taken out of that house. One person was arrested, but has not been charged.

“Four of those [roosters] were deceased, and they are part of the investigation along with other cockfighting paraphilia,” said Sgt. Lindsay Herron with the Minneapolis Police Department.

An observant neighbor led police to the bust.

“What the neighbors will see is, like, carriers used to transport the chickens,” Herron said. “Boxes with holes in them, maybe a lot of hay coming to the house.”

Investigators want the public to know this illegal activity leads to other criminal acts. Typically, cockfighting draws large crowds and is associated with violent crime.

“It’s a blood sport,” said Tom Doty, an animal control supervisor with the city. He added that the cockfighting community is very closed and that it’s hard to find their operations.

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“With them brings a lot of money,” Doty said. “There’s gambling…a lot of times weapons, there’s also narcotics.”

The birds are forced into battle inside a ring, sometimes things are added to the fight to make them more violent.

“They’ll actually put razors blades on the spurs of the birds so it’s a bloody deal,” Doty said.

Many of the birds found at the Newton Avenue house are in bad shape.

Police and animal control are determined to keep cockfighting from spreading as well as keeping the violence that comes with it from taking over neighborhoods.

Cockfighting is a felony in Minnesota and if convicted that person could get five years in prison.

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Investigators stumble across the illegal operations at least three times a year.

Reg Chapman