Thanks to a tip, Pennsylvania SPCA Humane Law Enforcement officers were able to recover six fighting roosters and arrest a man suspected of being involved in a cockfighting ring.
On March 25, the Pennsylvania SPCA Humane Law Enforcement Department received a tip that a shipment of chickens, suspected of being fighting birds, was being shipped express mail from Puerto Rico to a convenience store located in the 3900 block of Fairmount Avenue, Philadelphia. Officers staked out the store and observed the delivery of the birds which were placed in a vehicle parked outside. Officers arrested Delvin Cerada to whom the package was addressed and who signed for shipment. He was charged with felony animal fighting.
Officers recovered four birds from the packages that all had their combs and wattles removed and were shaved, consistent with birds used in cockfighting. Based on additional evidence, officers then obtained search warrants for two properties on the 1000 block of E. Luzerne Street. At one of the properties, officers recovered two additional roosters belonging to the suspect.
Following his arrest, it was determined that Cerada was living in the United States illegally. He was transferred to the York County prison where he is being held pending deportation to the Dominican Republic. Law enforcement officials will determine whether he will be tried for animal fighting prior to being deported.
All of the birds were taken to Pennsylvania SPCA headquarters, located at 350 E. Erie Ave., for medical evaluation. All the birds will remain in the Pennsylvania SPCA’s custody until the case is resolved through the court system. “We will continue to investigate other leads obtained in this case to identify others who may be involved in this heinous crime,” said Director of Humane Law Enforcement George Bengal.