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40 detained, more arrests coming in Conn. cockfighting ring

MILFORD, Conn. — Police in Connecticut plan to arrest nearly 70 more people after netting 40 suspects in a weekend raid on a cockfighting ring, state police officials said on Monday.

Some 49 live birds and four dead combatants, as well as $100,000 in cash, were seized when officers from several law enforcement agencies raided a car dealership where more than 150 people had gathered to bet on the fights overnight Saturday into Sunday, State Police Lieutenant J. Paul Vance said.

“These are crimes that involve severe cruelty to animals and illegal gambling with very large sums of money being wagered and collected,” Vance said. “We will be making many more arrests and are working to do so as quickly as possible.”

Police seized a firearm and gambling records when they raided the cockfight in East Windsor, about 15 miles north of Hartford, Vance said.

All those arrested have been charged with 54 counts of cruelty to animals and illegal gambling and face both prison time and fines. They will be arraigned later this week at Superior Court in Enfield, Vance said.

The Department of Agriculture has taken custody of the 49 live birds, Vance said.

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