Cockfighting Smuggler Busted at Border: Feds

By Eric S. Page
|  Wednesday, Jan 13, 2010  |  Updated 3:15 PM PDT
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U.S. Customs and Border Protection

The bundled birds

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A truck loaded with dozens of roosters was stopped at the border, officials said.

The white pickup was headed into Mexico when it was inspected at about 10:15 a.m. on Monday at the San Ysidro Port of Entry, according to a news release issued by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Officers inspecting the old truck, which was driven by a 32-year-old Mexican man who lives in Tijuana, found a hidden compartment hanging below the truck's bed.

Inside the tightly packed compartment were 50 stacked chickens -- 46 of which were roosters -- that had been bundled in nylon stockings and had their legs bound with Velcro. During the birds' removal from the secret compartment, officers discovered that 14 of the chickens had died.

Investigators believe the chickens were sedated and were intended to be sold for cockfighting purposes.

The driver was turned over to the USDA's Office of Inspector General and will face criminal charges.
 

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