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Big Island police arrest a man and find 19 dead roosters in cockfight raids

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 5:33 a.m. HST, Apr 19, 2011

Big Island police raided two cockfights in Puna Sunday and arrested and charged a 55-year-old man with animal cruelty.

Police said 100 people attending the first cockfight on 38th Avenue in Orchidland Estates subdivision dispersed when officers arrived.

The officers executed a search warrant and found 19 dead roosters and four live, uninjured roosters. They also recovered 61.2 grams of dried, processed marijuana buds.

They arrested Christopher C. Velasco, who resides on the property, and charged him with 23 counts of animal cruelty. Bail was set at $11,500.

Police are investigating others involved in the illegal cockfighting operation.

Police also broke up a cockfight at Lehua Street in Fern Acres subdivision.

The 80 or so attending also dispersed from the makeshift area. Officers found 3.1 grams of crystal methamphetamine abandoned next to the arena, police said.

Anyone with information concerning cockfights is asked to call the vice hot line at 934-VICE.

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