Moultrie Observer

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August 14, 2012

Six suspects plead guilty in chicken fighting case

MOULTRIE — Six men arrested during a July 7 raid of an alleged chicken-fighting operation near Norman Park entered guilty pleas and were sentenced this week in Colquitt County State Court.

Judge Richard Kent sentenced each of the men to sentences of 12 months’ probation and $500 fines. That was the sentence recommended by the Colquitt County District Attorney’s office.

The men sentenced after entering guilty pleas Monday were:

• Christopher Stephen Tucker, 28, and Gary Luther Germanton, 41, both of 12 J&K Lane, Crawfordville, Fla.; Mike Jackson Spires, 46, 2188 Cochran Hwy., Eastman, Ga.; Rodney Craig Scarborough, 45, 733 Dikes Road, Eastman, Ga.; and Crisosoro Rangel Jr., 32, 1814 Cannon Branch Road, Hosford, Fla.

In addition, three other people have indicated they will enter guilty pleas next week, Assistant District Attorney Michelle Thomas said Tuesday.

In addition to the probation and fines, the six who entered pleas on Monday agreed to forfeit any money and property seized and to testify truthfully at any hearings or legal proceedings connected with the prosecution of the other defendants, Thomas said. Any of those defendants who do not plead guilty will have jury trials in State Court.

If those who have indicated their intention to plead next week do so, that would leave 22 remaining of the original 31 who were arrested on misdemeanor charges of party to animal cruelty.

Wallace Hurst, 57, the alleged operator of the chicken-fighting operation, faces felony charges of commercial gambling and violation of the Georgia Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, which would be tried in Superior Court. He also has been charged with two misdemeanors, keeping a place of gambling and cruelty to animals.

During the raid, the Colquitt County Sheriff’s Office said, it and other assisting law enforcement agencies took more than 40 roosters, about $10,000 and weapons.

The district attorney’s office is seeking to seize about 356 acres of Hurst’s land, the money, an ATV and weapons.


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