Who, age What Where When Last Known Address
Hugo Yanez, 32 Cockfighting - 53 roosters seized

Early Branch, SC

Hampton County

April 18, 2009 Hardeeville, SC
Pedro Sanchez Cockfighting - 53 roosters seized

Early Branch, SC

Hampton County

April 18, 2009 Hardeeville, SC
Garsia Mauro Sanchez, 34 Cockfighting - 53 roosters seized

Early Branch, SC

Hampton County

April 18, 2009 Hardeeville, SC
Hector Manuel Ibargue, 26 Cockfighting - 53 roosters seized

Early Branch, SC

Hampton County

April 18, 2009 Hardeeville, SC
Omar Tobar, 29 Cockfighting - 53 roosters seized

Early Branch, SC

Hampton County

April 18, 2009 Hardeeville, SC
Antonio Guebara, 56 (1) Cockfighting - 53 roosters seized

Early Branch, SC

Hampton County

April 18, 2009 Hardeeville, SC
Douglas Eugene Shipes, 25 Cockfighting - 53 roosters seized

Early Branch, SC

Hampton County

April 18, 2009 Hardeeville, SC
Jaime Sanchez, 27 Cockfighting - 53 roosters seized

Early Branch, SC

Hampton County

April 18, 2009 Ridgeland, SC
Ricardo Navarete, 30 Cockfighting - 53 roosters seized

Early Branch, SC

Hampton County

April 18, 2009 Ridgeland, SC
Ector Sanchez, 30 Cockfighting - 53 roosters seized

Early Branch, SC

Hampton County

April 18, 2009 Bluffton, SC
Ricardo Comacho, 32 Cockfighting - 53 roosters seized

Early Branch, SC

Hampton County

April 18, 2009 Bluffton, SC
Romero Humberto, 47 Cockfighting - 53 roosters seized

Early Branch, SC

Hampton County

April 18, 2009 Hilton Head,SC
Rodulfo Lopez, 44 (1) Cockfighting - 53 roosters seized

Early Branch, SC

Hampton County

April 18, 2009 Hilton Head, SC
Edgar Rodrigues, 23 Cockfighting - 53 roosters seized

Early Branch, SC

Hampton County

April 18, 2009 Hilton Head, SC
Bartolome Martinez, 17 Cockfighting - 53 roosters seized

Early Branch, SC

Hampton County

April 18, 2009 Hilton Head, SC
Daniel Ebri Cockfighting - 53 roosters seized

Early Branch, SC

Hampton County

April 18, 2009 Hilton Head, SC
Ricardo Gonzalez (1) Cockfighting - 53 roosters seized

Early Branch, SC

Hampton County

April 18, 2009 Hilton Head, SC
Hector Lopez, 36 Cockfighting - 53 roosters seized

Early Branch, SC

Hampton County

April 18, 2009 Hilton Head, SC
Juvenal Corejo Flores, 40 Cockfighting - 53 roosters seized

Early Branch, SC

Hampton County

April 18, 2009 Hilton Head, SC
Javier Cornejo, 34 Cockfighting - 53 roosters seized

Early Branch, SC

Hampton County

April 18, 2009 Hilton Head, SC
Antonio Barrera Trejo, 35 Cockfighting - 53 roosters seized

Early Branch, SC

Hampton County

April 18, 2009 Hilton Head, SC
Juan Garcia, 32 Cockfighting - 53 roosters seized

Early Branch, SC

Hampton County

April 18, 2009 Hilton Head, SC
Angel Ramirez Parra, 27 Cockfighting - 53 roosters seized

Early Branch, SC

Hampton County

April 18, 2009 Beaufort, SC
Abel Hernandez, 34 (1) Cockfighting - 53 roosters seized

Early Branch, SC

Hampton County

April 18, 2009 Early Branch, SC
Mendez Cornejo, 22 Cockfighting - 53 roosters seized

Early Branch, SC

Hampton County

April 18, 2009 Mexico
Jose Charre, 33 Cockfighting - 53 roosters seized

Early Branch, SC

Hampton County

April 18, 2009 Swansea, SC
Lucio Oriel Tello-Perez, 31 Cockfighting - 53 roosters seized

Early Branch, SC

Hampton County

April 18, 2009 Southern Pines, NC
Jose Joel Cornejo, 44 Cockfighting - 53 roosters seized

Early Branch, SC

Hampton County

April 18, 2009 Carollton, GA
Francisco Montalvo Moreno, 21 Cockfighting - 53 roosters seized

Early Branch, SC

Hampton County

April 18, 2009 Columbia, SC
Oscar Rangel Musico, 2 Cockfighting - 53 roosters seized

Early Branch, SC

Hampton County

April 18, 2009 Batesburg, SC
Alfredo Ortiz, 27 Cockfighting - 53 roosters seized

Early Branch, SC

Hampton County

April 18, 2009 Mexico
Joel Cornejo, 24 Cockfighting - 53 roosters seized

Early Branch, SC

Hampton County

April 18, 2009 Mexico
Hugo Musico, 31 Cockfighting - 53 roosters seized

Early Branch, SC

Hampton County

April 18, 2009 Aiken, SC
Salvador Juarez Sanchez, 36 Cockfighting - 53 roosters seized

Early Branch, SC

Hampton County

April 18, 2009 Mexico
Pedro Antonio Garcia, 19 Cockfighting - 53 roosters seized

Early Branch, SC

Hampton County

April 18, 2009 Texas
Enrique Camacho Garcia, 37 Cockfighting - 53 roosters seized

Early Branch, SC

Hampton County

April 18, 2009 North Carolina
Maria Ortiz, 20 Cockfighting - 53 roosters seized

Early Branch, SC

Hampton County

April 18, 2009 Ridge Spring, SC
Type of Crime Other Crimes #/Type of animal(s) involved Case Status Next Court Date

Misdemeanor

  53 roosters

(1) Convicted

Alleged

 

Authorities say more than three dozen people have been cited for cockfighting after a bust in Hampton.

Hampton County Sheriff's spokeswoman Shellie Murdaugh said 37 people from South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, Texas and Mexico were arrested in Early Branch.

It was the first time in Hampton County history that anyone had been charged with cockfighting and none of the 37 suspects had previous cockfighting charges.

"Cockfighting is an activity that is mostly found in rural areas although some larger areas also see the problem," Hampton County Sheriff T.C. Smalls said. " Cockfighting is an ongoing operation that predominately moves from place to place and county to county. We have zero tolerance for any illegal activity in Hampton County, including cockfighting."

A total of 53 roosters were seized and taken to the Community Animal Shelter of Hampton County.

Cockfighting is illegal in every state and Washington, D.C., but the penalties for the crime vary, according to John Goodwin, a manager of animal fighting issues with the Humane Society of the United States.

Cockfighting is a felony in 35 states.  In South Carolina, cockfighting is a misdemeanor that carries a fine of up to $1,000.

Goodwin says South Carolina is a magnet for cockfighters.

"Cockfighting is a felony in North Carolina. It's a felony in Georgia. It's a felony in Texas, where some of the defendants resided, and in South Carolina it's a misdemeanor," he said. "They go jurisdiction shopping for the place with the weakest penalties and then set up shop there. A misdemeanor fine is more than offset by the potential gambling."

Officers confiscated $18,730 and seized 13 vehicles, which were returned to the owners, according to the sheriff's office.

South Carolina is ranked No. 42 by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) on the severity of its cockfighting laws and related offenses (being a spectator of cockfighting , possession of fighting cocks or possession of cockfighting weapons) and whether those are a felony, a misdemeanor or legal. The length of jail sentence and fines imposed are also considered.

A bill in the state House, co-sponsored by Greenville Rep. William Wylie and Clarendon County Rep. G.M. Smith Jr., would make cockfighting a felony with prison time of six months to five years and/or a fine between $500 and $1,000 for first-time offenders.

Several agencies participated in the operation, including the Hampton County Sheriff's Office, the Hampton County Multi-Jurisdictional Drug Task Force, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, and the Department of Natural Resources.

Update 4/24/09:  A $500 cash bond was set by Judge Algie Solomons on each of the suspects. This was a first offense cockfighting, which is a misdemeanor offense which could result in a fine of $1,000. Several of the suspects have been released although the exact number is not known at this time. None of the suspects had lawyers, according to the sheriff.

  (Photo courtesy of the Jasper County Sun)

“Cockfighting is an activity that is mostly found in rural areas although some larger areas also see the problem,“ Hampton County Sheriff T.C. Smalls said. “Cockfighting is an ongoing operation that predominately moves from place to place and county to county. We have zero tolerance for any illegal activity in Hampton County, including cockfighting.“

The incident remains under investigation by the Hampton County Multi-Jurisdictional Drug Task Force. “I would like to thank all of the participating agencies that made this operation successful,“ Smalls said. “We will continue to eliminate illegal activity in Hampton County.

Those charged with cockfighting include:
Romero Humberto, 47, of Hilton Head
Abel Hernandez, 34, of Early Branch
Jaime Sanchez, 27, Ridgeland
Rodulfo Lopez, 44, of Hilton Head
Edgar Rodrigues , 23, of Hilton Head
Ricardo Navarete, 30, of Ridgeland
Hugo Yanez, 32, of Hardeeville
Omar Tobar, 29, of Hardeeville
Mendez Cornejo, 22, of Mexico
Daniel Ebri of Hilton Head
Pedro Sanchez of Hardeeville
Ricardo Gonzalez of Hilton Head
Hector Lopez, 36, of Hilton Head
Antonio Guebara, 56, of Hardeeville
Garsia Mauro Sanchez, 34, of Hardeeville
Jose Charre, 33, of Swansea
Juvenal Corejo Flores, 40, of Hilton Head
Angel Ramirez Parra, 27, of Beaufort
Antonio Barrera Trejo, 35, of Hilton Head
Hector Manuel Ibargue, 26, of Hardeeville
Lucio Oriel Tello-Perez, 31, of Southern Pines, NC
Javier Cornejo, 34, of Hilton Head
Jose Joel Cornejo, 44, of Carollton, GA
Francisco Montalvo Moreno, 21, of Columbia
Oscar Rangel Musico, 28, of Batesburg
Alfredo Ortiz, 27, of Mexico
Juan Garcia, 32, of Hilton Head
Joel Cornejo, 24, of Mexico
Hugo Musico, 31, of Aiken
Salvador Juarez Sanchez, 36, of Mexico
Pedro Antonio Garcia, 19, of Texas
Enrique Camacho Garcia, 37, of NC
Douglas Eugene Shipes, 25, of Hardeeville
Ector Sanchez, 30, of Bluffton
Maria Ortiz, 20, of Ridge Spring
Ricardo Comacho, 32, of Bluffton
Bartolome Martinez, 17, of Hilton Head

Update 5/20/09:  Four of the 37 people arrested back in April were in a Hampton County, SC courtroom today, on cockfighting charges, the first in Hampton County’s history.

Three of the four were found guilty by Judge Carolyn Williams: 34-year old Abel Hernandez of Early Branch, Rodulfo Lopez, 44, of Hilton Head and Ricardo Gonzalez, also of Hilton Head, were each ordered to pay $1,635 in fines. Officials at the magistrate’s office say they each paid their fines and forfeited the $500 bond they posted back on April 18th.

56-year old Antonio Guebara of Hardeeville pled guilty, and forfeited the $500 bond he posted back on April 18th so he could be released from jail.

Reference:

WSAV Bluffton Today
Jasper County Sun