A tip from a pizza delivery driver led to the discovery of a suspected rooster fighting operation in Polk County and the arrests of three people. 123 roosters and chickens were also confiscated from the property.
Polk County Sheriff’s Office detectives say they found a rooster fighting and breeding compound at 2400 21st St. N.W. in Winter Haven on Monday, June 22. Detectives showed up at the address after getting a tip from a pizza delivery driver who delivered pizza to the location on Friday night during a cock fight.
“We really appreciate this pizza delivery driver calling us. Frankly, I can’t understand why someone would ask for a pizza delivery during an illegal cockfight, but are happy to also make house calls. It’s pretty funny when you think about it,” said Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd.
While checking out the property, deputies say they noticed extensive trash throughout the property and a rooster fighting ring was observed through a large opened door of a barn.
Detectives say feathers from roosters were found inside the fighting ring. A table used for trimming rooster spurs had residue on the table from the spurs. More than 60 roosters, hens, and small chickens were in cages, in addition to a few roaming birds in the back of the barn. Upon further investigation, detectives say the ring was clearly set up and used for rooster fighting.
Several plastic boxing gloves used to train roosters to fight were found in a plastic container inside a rooster holding pen. Detectives say they also found several ceramic spurs in the container. During rooster fights, spurs are tied onto a rooster’s natural spur area and are used to kill the opposing rooster. Detectives found several bottles of medication in a refrigerator that were marked for rooster fighting.
Nine of the roosters observed on the property were ready to fight, according to investigators.
Detectives arrested 38-year-old Eliut Juse Serrano Hernandez who lived at the home. Juse was charged with the following 3rd degree felonies: nine counts of possession of animals for the purpose of fighting or baiting, four counts of possession of equipment used for fighting or baiting animals, and leasing a property for the purpose of fighting or baiting animals.
Hernandez allegedly admitted to deputies that the roosters on the property were his and that he fought the birds on the property. He said the ring was his and that the boxing gloves and spurs may belong to him.Hernandez allegedly told detectives that he maintained the property and that he had fought the birds there “one or two times.”
Deputies also arrested Oscar Feliciano Agudo, 42, for possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. Christiane Ann Moser, 38, was arrested and charged with for violation of probation, possession of cocaine, and possession of drug paraphernalia.