Owner ID'd, Charges Pending in Cockfighting Ring Bust

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    Philadelphia police busted a cockfighting ring in the Kensington section of the city where the homeowner was arrested. (Published Saturday, June 14, 2014)

    Numerous felony charges are pending against the alleged owner of a cockfighting ring in the Kensington section of Philadelphia.

    Hiram Oquendo, 52, was arrested on Saturday after police say a tip led them to his home on the 2900 block of E Street.

    When police arrived on Saturday around 3 a.m., they discovered a large scale cockfight that was in progress, according to investigators. Police say dozens of participants and spectators fled the scene but officers were able to arrest Oquendo.

    Officials with the PSPCA removed 18 live roosters and one dead rooster from the home. The birds were brought to the Erie Avenue shelter for forensic evaluation.

    “This is a fairly elaborate setup,’ said George Bengal of the SPCA. “He’s got an area in the back of this location that is pretty well concealed. There’s a lot of training equipment that he has back there. He’s got all the paraphernalia that’s used in bird fighting.”

    Oquendo was taken into custody. Cruelty charges against him are pending and he is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on July 2.

    "Cockfighting is a brutal crime against birds," said PSPCA CEO Jery Buckley. "It is not entertainment. These chickens died as a result and we will seek justice against Oquendo."