29 Arrested in Desha County Cockfighting Ring Bust

29 Arrested in Desha County Cockfighting Ring Bust

10 dead chickens found at the scene in the Kelso community southeast of Dumas.
KELSO, AR (News release) - Wildlife officers with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission (AGFC) arrested 29 people on Sunday after discovering a cockfighting ring in Desha County. 

Officers were investigating several vehicles parked near a canal on Hilburn Rd. just off Arkansas Highway 138 near Kelso.

The AGFC officers were on routine patrol when they found a large group of people surrounding what they later determined to be a cockfighting ring. After contacting the group, several people ran from the area. They were eventually caught and returned to the scene.

There were 29 adult men and 2 juveniles at the scene. The adults were charged with cruelty to animals, a Class A misdemeanor. The juveniles in the case were not charged.

A court date was set for April 1 at 9 a.m. in Dumas District Court. If convicted, the defendants could face up to a year in jail and a fine up to $1,000. There were 10 individuals who were charged with Fleeing a Wildlife Officer with a total bond of $2,200.

Officers found 20 live chickens and 10 dead chickens at the scene. The wildlife officers also found farm equipment believed to be stolen. The equipment had an estimated value of $5,000.

The Desha County Sheriff's Office and the Arkansas State Police assisted with the arrests. The case has been turned over to the Desha County Sheriff's Office.

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