"Operation Angry Bird" is the largest cockfighting bust in New York State. As Jessica Chen reports, police found thousands of birds in Plattekill over the weekend.
PLATTEKILL, N.Y. -- Workers with the ASPCA loaded crates upon crates of fighting roosters onto their truck during the largest cockfighting bust in New York State.
On Sunday, 3,000 roosters were found at 230 Plattekill Ardonia Road in Plattekill. Authorities found hundreds of makeshift cages on the 90 acre farm. Many were placed in the center of the property to avoid being caught.
Officials say the farm had been operating under a disguise of a poultry farm for several years.
According to Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's office, the roosters and chickens were found to be in deplorable conditions. They said the roosters were plied with performance enhancing drugs, and had razor sharp gaffs attached to their natural spurs.
"Cockfighting is a cruel, abusive and barbaric practice that tortures animals. This investigation illustrates the prevalence of cockfighting in America, its brutal nature and the link to other illegal activities," said Schneiderman.
Officials said many of the roosters bred and trained were involved in bloody cockfighting events at the farm, and in New York City. On Saturday night, the attorney general's Organized Crime Task Force raided a bi-monthly cockfighting event in Queens.
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals assisted in the raid.
"The ASPCA is managing the removal, forensic evidence collection, transport, veterinary care and sheltering of animals seized in the case," said the ASPCA in a statement.
Officials said 70 people have been taken into custody, including Manuel Cruz, 60, and Jesus Cruz, 37, who operated the farm.