Authorities rustled up and jailed 19 people suspected of participating in cockfighting on a dairy farm in western Wisconsin.
Charges are pending against the suspects. The St. Croix County sheriff declared Tuesday that the farm owner did not know of the illegal activity on his property north of Glenwood City.
According to the Sheriff’s Office:
Acting on a tip, deputies visited the farm early Saturday afternoon and heard “loud chicken noises.” The commotion led the deputies to a makeshift shelter. They saw many people fleeing into the woods.
The deputies saw a cockfighting ring and other items associated with the illegal activity.
Deputies and other officers from various law enforcement agencies found and arrested 19 people. They were jailed, released on bail and await charges.
Farm owner Marvin Johnson, a veterinarian from nearby Roberts, “has been extremely helpful from the onset and continues to assist my office even today,” said Sheriff John Shilts. “We have concluded that Dr. Johnson had no knowledge of the event.”
Johnson assisted deputies in ensuring the safety of the roosters on the site, the sheriff added.
“Dr. Johnson has also made it clear to his employees that they are expected to cooperate with our investigation to the extent that they can,” Shilts said.
Johnson said he was aware of his employees having chickens on the property for “accepted farming practices,” a Sheriff’s Office statement read.