Lee County deputies bust cockfighting ring worth more than $500,000


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Lee County deputies bust cockfighting ring worth more than $500,000

By Gabrielle Sarann. CREATED Oct 9, 2013

FORT MYERS - Lee County deputies busted an elaborate cockfighting ring. It was quite an operation. Each bird can go for more than $5,000. Investigators say after a tipster came forward, they made made their move. 

Deputies estimate the cockfighting ring is worth more than $500,000. Made up of roosters and hens. All injected with hormones and bred to fight. 

"It's saddening to see this happened here in Lee County," said Sgt. David Velez, with the Lee County Sheriff's Office.

Deputies raided the property on Neal Road in Fort Myers on Wednesday morning. They discovered more than 100 birds and a fighting ring. Spurs and razors were attached to some of their feet. This all went down because the house is for sale. An interested home buyer stopped by to check it out.  

"While they're out there, they noticed this particular property they were looking at had a large amount of chickens and roosters that were in cages," explained Sgt. Velez.

Detectives say they belonged to 50-year-old Roberto Torres, the homeowner. He faces felony charges, some of which include baiting, breeding and selling the animals. 

"In many cases, these chickens are injected with unknown chemicals in order to make them bigger, stronger," said Sgt. Velez.

That hits too close to home for James Rewis. He lives two properties away but says he doesn't get involved. 

"They don't bother me," said Rewis. "I don't bother them."

Especially, since deputies say more arrests may be in store. 

Torres is still in jail facing a $3,000 bond. As for the birds, according to law, they'll be euthanized because they were bred to fight.