A suspect in a New York cockfighting ring was arrested Wednesday morning in Wesley Chapel, according to the Pasco Sheriff’s Office. The cockfighting ring has been described as the largest in New York state history.
Moises Cruz, 71, is charged with prohibition of animal fighting. Cruz and his wife were at a Meadow Pointe home, 1019 Appian Place, which is owned by a friend, according to the Pasco Sheriff’s Office.
New York authorities arrested about 70 people and found about 3,000 birds during a Saturday night raid in Brooklyn and Queens that has been dubbed “Operation Angry Birds.”
Cruz, according to the sheriff’s office, was the “kingpin” of the operation.
The U.S. Marshal’s Office based in New York called the sheriff’s office and gave them the location of Cruz’s possible whereabouts. When deputies went to the address Wednesday just before 9:20 a.m., they found Cruz and arrested him.
Authorities said Cruz has a home in Miami as well as a home in New York.