At about 1:43 p.m., deputies responded to a call of suspicious activity at the property and were able to observe the activity, according to a Wise Eyes report from Sheriff Bob Alford.
As deputies approached the residence to interview the occupants, several individuals were observed running to the numerous vehicles on the property and fleeing at an accelerated rate of speed, the Wise Eyes release said.
“Some of the fleeing vehicles were observed to drive onto neighboring property and out a gate other than that at the property in question,” Alford said. “The manner in which the fleeing individuals were leaving the property was indicative there was activity on the property they did not want to be connected with.”
When deputies contacted the landowners, one of them had what appeared to be blood on the legs of his pants, obviously causing additional suspicion, the sheriff said.
“Further investigation into the suspicious activity on the property led to the discovery of a cockfighting arena inside a makeshift structure and numerous chickens both dead and alive,” Alford said.
Nine people were arrested for “cockfighting, attending,” a Class C misdemeanor.
Two people were arrested for cruelty to livestock animals and cockfighting, both state jail felonies, and keeping a gambling place, a Class A misdemeanor.
One juvenile, age 14, was detained and released to his aunt.
Deputies recovered $2,902 in cash that was covered in blood.
Deputies found 33 dead birds all with “extremely brutal” wounds. One bird was decapitated, Alford said.
Deputies caught 98 live birds and transported them to the Humane Society of North Texas, although one bird died at the shelter from its wounds.
In addition, four rabbits and two dogs were captured and transported to the HSNT, Alford said.
Three vehicles were impounded.