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Thursday, May 5, 2011

County: Benton

Charges: Felony CTA
Disposition: Convicted

» Jose Luis Zapien
» Francisco Chavez Ruelas

Case Updates: 1 update(s) available

Two Prosser men are behind bars for allegedly being involved in rooster fighting.

Benton County sheriff's deputies received a report about a possible animal cruelty at a Prosser-area home at 168102 W. 215 PR S.W. on May 5, said Detective Erik Magnuson.

When officers arrived, they discovered rooster fights were taking place at the house.
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Francisco Chavez-Ruelas, 22, and Jose Luis Zapien, 43, were arrested on suspicion of animal fighting, a felony, and booked into the Benton County jail.

Case Updates

A Prosser man convicted of raising roosters to enter in cockfights has been ordered not to own or possess any male chickens for five years.

Jose Luis Zapien, 43, was sentenced in Benton County Superior Court to two months in jail. He was convicted by a jury July 19 of animal fighting.

Zapien, who has been in custody since his May 5 arrest, also has a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement hold and eventually will be taken to a Tacoma facility for deportation proceedings.

Benton County sheriff's deputies were called to 168102 W. 215 PR S.W. for reports of possible animal cruelty.

The property owner told deputies that her brother-in-law and cousin lived on the property and owned roosters, though she didn't know why they had so many, court documents said.

Deputies standing in the driveway reportedly could see and hear multiple roosters in the backyard. The owner gave them written consent to search the backyard and walked them around the property, documents said.

That's when Deputy Arin Reining allegedly found a wooden table leaning up against a trailer and scissors, tie downs, bloody cotton swabs and a sewing kit sitting on top.

Blood spatter was on the side of the trailer, along with feathers plastered to it "at the level of the wooden table," court documents said.

Roosters were being housed in two makeshift areas. The first reportedly held two cages containing a rooster and a hen each. The rest held all the feed and supplies, including performance-enhancing supplements and different varieties of bird feed, documents said.

Reining also located three wood containers used to transport fowl. One box was open with visible blood spatter and feathers inside.

A total of 32 roosters and three hens were found on the property.

Zapien, who was home at the time, told deputies that six of the roosters belonged to him and that he and Francisco Chavez Ruelas would borrow blades from other people at the fights.

Chavez Ruelas, 23, entered an Alford plea in June to animal fighting and received jail time.

The Alford plea means he denied committing the crime but believed prosecutors had enough evidence to convict him.

His plea was to possessing two of the birds found on the property.

"I'm just sorry what I have done. I won't do this again," Chavez Ruelas then told the court.
Source: - Jul 31, 2011
Update posted on Jul 31, 2011 - 10:46PM 


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