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Man charged in alleged cockfighting ring involving hundreds of roosters and dogs

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Posted at 8:37 AM, Jun 21, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-21 08:37:07-04

OWEN COUNTY — A Camby man is facing charges in connection with an animal fighting ring that authorities say spanned multiple counties.

Owen County Prosecutors have filed charges against Martin Anderson.

A probable cause affidavit for Anderson says detectives began investigating after receiving a tip on August 20, 2018 about animals being raised and fought at a home in the 3700 block of Cunot-Cataract Road in Poland. \

In those documents, investigators referred to Anderson's property in Owen County as 'the farm.'

PHOTOS | Animals saved from alleged cockfighting ring

After verifying their tip's authenticity, detectives conducted surveillance at the property in September where they observed three dogs tied up in the woods with heavy chains that the detective says is consistent with the way animals are kept when they are used for fighting. They also identified sounds coming from 'the farm' as multiple large dogs and roosters.

In October, those same detectives conducted surveillance at Anderson's home in Camby where they also found roosters in cages that had been altered in a way that is generally done for cockfighting.

The probable cause details video taken from covert police cameras on the property showing multiple vehicles coming and going as well as transporting animals. It also details images taken from Anderson's cell phone that appear to show animals altered for cockfighting purposes, large bank transfer receipts and images of Anderson standing by large marijuana plants.

READ |Hundreds of animals rescued from alleged cockfighting ring

According to court documents, these surveillance's went on for several months until detectives felt they had enough evidence to obtain an active search warrant. That warrant found multiple items related to cockfighting and other illegal activities.

ASPCA assisted detectives with removing 261 gamefowl from the farm, including 138 roosters. An additional 330 gamefowl were removed from Anderson's residence, including 19 adult male roosters.

Anderson is facing four felony counts of promoting an animal fighting contest and four counts of purchasing an animal for fighting in Owen County. Additional charges are expected.

Anderson's trial for those charges is scheduled for October.