Moultrie Observer

July 7, 2012

32 charged in cock-fighting raid

Staff Reports
The Moultrie Observer

MOULTRIE — Thirty-two people were taken into custody Saturday after Colquitt County sheriff’s deputies broke up a cock fighting match.

Investigators had been working the case about a month, Investigator Shannon Hart said, following up on an anonymous tip before raiding the property on Highway 256 at 11:30 a.m. Saturday.

“They were actively fighting chickens” when deputies arrived, Hart said.

The only suspect Hart identified Saturday was the property owner, Wallace Gene Hurst. Hurst was taken into custody but had not actually been charged as of Saturday evening. Hart said he faces several charges.

Twenty-nine other men and two women were charged with being a party to the crime of cruelty to animals.

“We arrested people out there from Florida and all over Georgia,” Hart said. “We didn’t run across too many local people that were arrested. I’d say 98 percent of them lived outside Colquitt County.”

Hart said the out-of-towners had brought their birds to fight at the gathering.

The Moultrie-Colquitt County Humane Society took possession of the chickens that were still alive at the time of the raid — a total of more than 40 birds. He did not say how many dead birds were found.

In addition to the Humane Society, local law enforcement was assisted by the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office.