Sixty-seven people have been charged in Pike County in connection with the breakup of a cockfighting operation in Chatawa.
Sheriff Mark Shepherd said his deputies raided the operation Sunday afternoon, and that the arrests concluded an 18 month operation and involved about 35 officers.
Shepherd released five pictures of the operation which involved 52 roosters, taken by investigators from the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and its chief investigator Robert Jordan.
The sheriff says he is very serious about breaking up these type operations in his county.
"The investigation is ongoing. I will tell you this is the second one we have dealt with in the past few years, we are serious about it and we are not going to tolerate this type behavior in Pike County, and we will continue to be aggressive toward this type crime," said Shepherd.
Eight birds were kept as evidence, the others put to sleep. In cockfighting, the birds are put in a ring where they fight to the death as people gamble on the outcome. Very sharp artificial spurs are put on the legs of the birds to make them more deadly.
Only two of the 67 people were charged with felonies. Sixty-six-year-old Clarence Alec Bunch of Osyka, also know as Willie, was charged with racketeering.
Twenty-four-year-old Mark Tulagan of Baker, Louisiana, was charged with possession of Crystal Meth.
Deputies also confiscated $39,000 dollars in cash.
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