Reports of a cockfighting ring in Cecilia led to an investigation and 18 subsequent arrests by the St. Martin parish Sheriff’s Office.
According to a prepared statement, deputies followed up on recent reports of a suspected cockfighting ring. On Saturday evening at approximately 7 p.m., deputies observed suspicious activity occurring in the 2300 block of Main Highway in Cecilia.
Upon further investigation, deputies located several subjects conducting cockfights in a wooded area near the area. The 18 arrested were charged with cockfighting and cruelty to animals.
One of the subjects, William Francis Jr. of Youngsville, was also charged with possession and firearm charges.
Cockfighting is Prohibited
According to RS 14:102.23, organizing or conducting a commercial or private cockfight is illegal. “Cockfighting” is a display of combat between one or more domestic or feral chickens in which the animals may be injured or killed.
Persons guilty of first-offense cockfighting will be fined no less than $750 and no more than $2,000, imprisoned for no less than six months and no more than one year, or both. Persons guilty of second offense cockfighting will be fined between $1,000 and $2,000, imprisoned between one and three years without parole, probation or suspension for six months.