Roosters in the Post Office Lead to Hazleton Cockfighting Ring

HAZLETON, Pa. -- Some noisy mail led to the discovery of a cockfighting ring in Luzerne County.

Last month, amid the busy holiday shipping season, workers at a post office in Hazleton found an unusual package among all the boxes.

According to court papers, the package was crowing.

There were two adult roosters inside the package.

Humane officers say the birds' wattles and combs had been cut leading them to believe they were being used for cockfighting.

Officers arrested Alexandro Martinez, 40, of Hazleton in connection with the crime. He faces several felony animal fighting charges.

"It is something we are adamantly against because of the cruel nature of what the sport actually entails. It more often than not results in the death of one of the roosters that is fighting," said Todd Hevner of the SPCA of Luzerne County.

Workers at the post office did not want to speak on camera about the roosters. We talked to customers who say they're upset.

"Just horribly appalled that there are still people that abuse animals like this, whether it be a chicken, a dog, a cat, whatever," Marlene Leonard said.

"I hope they put him in jail for the rest of his life. I'm sorry, that's the way I feel," Richard Hall added.

After discovering the roosters at the post office, humane officers searched Martinez's home and found two more roosters as well as nine chicks.

"This was an active sort of organization that was pulling these animals together, breeding them, training them, and then presumably, shipping them out of the country for this activity," Hevner said.

The roosters are all now being held at the Luzerne County SPCA as the investigation continues.

"I think this is particularly horrific because of the way the animals are slaughtered, sliced and diced, and people actually pay to watch animals killed," said Leonard.

The SPCA of Luzerne County is still investigating this incident to see if there are more cases related to it. If you have any information about roosters being raised for fighting, you're asked to give the SPCA a call.

Alexandro Martinez faces animal fighting and animal neglect charges. He was released on bail.


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