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Possible cockfighting ring busted in NE Houston, HPD says

HOUSTON – Investigators say they've busted a suspected cockfighting ring in Northeast Houston in the 5900 block of Leadale.

Nearly 300 roosters are at the Houston-area Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care following the early Wednesday morning bust.

Byron Wildridge, who saw the bust taking place, said, "when I came into work, I seen maybe 10-15 animal control right here down the corner with a bunch of police."

Neighbors said they spotted the commotion along with animal control, BARC officers and HPD Major Offenders Division -- Animal Cruelty Unit at the house off of Leadale Street, but had know idea what was going on.

"That's crazy," Wildridge said. "I would never have guess that in the area right down the street."

On the property just beyond the fence line, officials with BARC say investigators found 299 roosters along with cockfighting paraphernalia.

Also found in the place: drugs, guns and more than $20,000 in cash, according to law enforcement sources.

Explained Jasmine Mancilla, a neighbor: "Around here in this street it's really quiet. Nothing crazy goes on or anything like that."

Authorities say when the bust was all said and done, two people were arrested, and the pair are now facing serious charges.

The birds will be humanely euthanized.

BARC officials said roosters bred to fight are often pumped with steroids or other unknown substances and are too aggressive to be rehabilitated.

"I always encourage people to watch the news because you don't know what's going on right next door to your house or right next door to your area or neighborhood," Wildridge said.