Three Kissimmee residents were among the 13 people arrested on Saturday, after the Polk County Sheriff’s Office broke up a cockfighting event in Frostproof.
The Kissimmee residents were Rafael Marquez-Baez, 56, Johnathan Ernesto Colon-Portilatin, 25, and Jose Angel Garcia-Baez, 52. They were arrested were charged with attending the fighting of animals, a felony
Deputies had been tipped-off regarding a large crowd attending a possible cockfight event at 1940 W. Frostproof Road. When they arrived, they found wounded and bloody roosters, a fighting ring, acrylic spurs and scales, according to a Polk Sheriff’s Office report
Detectives from the agency’s Agriculture Crimes Unit obtained a search warrant for the property, which led them to additional evidence that the illegal sport had been operating at the location. The evidence included sparring gloves with spurs, vitamins, antibiotics, performance-enhancing drugs, and blood-clotting ointments.
The residents of the property, Jorge Luis Ocasio-Montanez and Carmen Idalia Rivera-Rodriguez, both 56, were determined to be the owners of the roosters. They were each charged with owning equipment for animal fighting, promoting animal fights, owning animals for fighting and operating a property for animal fighting.
“We appreciate the tip we received about this cock-fighting event,” said Polk Sheriff Grady Judd. “Keeping and fighting these animals for the purpose of gaming and profit will not be tolerated. It’s extremely violent and cruel to the birds. I’m glad we were able to shut this down.”
The other suspects who were arrested were charged with attending the fighting of animals were identified as: Samuel Rosario-Maisonet, 18, of Sebring; Ramon Rivera-Ortiz, 71, of Avon Park; Eleazar Jimenez-Laporte, 44, of Avon Park; Paulino Adelso Borgen-De Jesus, 56, of Orlando; Victor Manuel Montes-Maldonado, 39, of Sebring; Wilfredo Rivera-Herrera, 61, of Sebring; Jose Guadalupe Martinez-Martinez, 38, of Avon Park; and Leasiv N. Pantoja, 38, of Frostproof.
All those arrested were transported to the Polk County Jail in Bartow.