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Utah County police bust second cockfighting ring in week

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah. — Authorities in Utah County say they have uncovered a second cockfighting ring less than a week after finding another one.

The Utah County sheriff’s department said 35 people were arrested or cited last Saturday for participating in a sophisticated cockfighting operation, KSTU-TV reported.

Sgt. Spencer Cannon said fighting rings were discovered near Utah Lake in a desolate area in Cedar Valley, about 45 miles (72 kilometers) southwest of Salt Lake City. Cannon said a tip led investigators to the location where police heard cheering and rooster crows.

Two large rings believed to be built for fighting were found by investigators, including a chicken foot sticking out of the dirt which led to the discovery of two dozen dead roosters. Authorities seized 15 live birds from the location, KSTU-TV reported.

“These guys knew, they knew the law. If they didn’t know having these organized cock fights was against the law, they wouldn’t do it out here. They’d do it in the middle of town,” Cannon said.

The department uncovered another operation on May 10th. Investigators said two major cockfighting incidents are rare but not unheard of.

Authorities do not believe the operations are related.

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