WESTON, Wis. — Authorities were searching Thursday for a central Wisconsin man accused of running a cockfighting ring and illegal gambling operation.
Bee Her, 35, of Weston, was charged Monday with seven felonies related to illegal gambling and animal mistreatment.
He was arrested last month after police found about 50 roosters and hens in his home, some with injuries characteristic of cockfighting, but he was released before charges were filed. Police sought to arrest him again Tuesday but he and the birds were gone, Everest Metro police Capt. Clayton Schulz said Thursday.
Authorities were seeking him within his Hmong community but were being slowed due to language barriers and an occasional lack of cooperation, Schulz said. He added that police had no information that he'd fled the state or country.
Online court records didn't list a defense attorney for Her. A home listing in his name was disconnected.
Authorities began investigating last year after being tipped off to possible drug activity and prostitution being conducted out of a video store.
Detectives searched the facility and found gambling machines, poker chips, receipts and cash, the criminal complaint said. They also found marijuana and a pipe commonly used for smoking methamphetamine.
Their investigation led them to Her's home, where they found about 24 roosters in individual cages and about 24 free-roaming hens. Detectives showed photographs of the birds to the department's humane officer and a veterinarian, who said their injuries and missing feathers appeared consistent with cockfighting.
Schulz says there's no indication there's a larger cockfighting ring in the state.