16 August 2010

Drug traffickers utilize cockfighting and dog fighting events for networking

Proving a connection exists between organized crime such as drug trafficking and the barbaric practice of pitting two gamecocks or dogs in a fight to the death doesn’t seem too much of a stretch, just ask the United States Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).

According to the DEA, Pedro Mendez Ramos of Church Point, LA., was sentenced to 12.5 years in prison followed by five years of supervised release for transporting “kilogram quantities of cocaine and marijuana from the Brownsville, Texas area.”

Ramos, who owned over three hundred gamecocks and sixty pit bulls, used illegal fighting events as a networking tool to recruit new members who would later assist in transporting his product.

The successful prosecution of Ramos and seventeen of his associates was the result of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation called “Operation Fowl Play.”—yes that is the real name of the investigation.

“The coordinated efforts of this investigation not only exposed and dismantled a sophisticated drug trafficking organization, it also helped to cease the brutality and unspeakable cruelty of animals at the hands of inhumane individuals,” said Special Agent in Charge Jimmy S. Fox III.

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) has used the organized crime element of animal fighting to bolster its efforts in lobbying states to toughen laws on the brutal events for quite some time.

Unfortunately, eleven states still only consider cockfighting a misdemeanor level offense.

The HSUS has compiled a “cockfighting fact sheet” that provides information on the laws enacted to combat this barbaric activity in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. If your state—like mine—is one of the eleven states that has yet to pass laws making cockfighting a felony offense consider writing to your state legislator.

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