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TEXARKANA -- More than 100 people were taken into custody Saturday when dozens of law enforcement officers raided a suspected cockfighting operation near De Queen in Sevier County, according to authorities.

Authorities arrested 34 people on felony counts of unlawful animal fighting, and 86 people were arrested for misdemeanor counts of unlawful animal fighting.

A total of 137 people were booked into the Sevier County jail. Television station KSLA in Shreveport said spectators were among those taken into custody.

Warrants were served by the the Sevier County sheriff's office, the De Queen Police Department, the South Central Drug Task Force, the Arkansas State Police, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, the U.S. Forestry Agency, the U.S. Wildlife Service, and Homeland Security.

Sevier County Sheriff Robert Gentry said the investigation started about 18 months ago when his department received calls from agencies in Texas and north Arkansas about a rooster fighting ring in the county.

Other agencies learned about the illegal activity while conducting interviews with subjects who had been arrested on drug charges, Gentry said.

Gentry said suspects were from as far away as New Jersey. He said others were from Mount Pleasant; Pittsburg, Texas; San Antonio; Tulsa; Fort Smith; Pine Bluff; Little Rock; and Alma.

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State Desk on 03/20/2018

Print Headline: Raid on cockfighting ring near De Queen nets 137 arrests, 34 felony counts

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