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Dozens of fighting roosters seized and arrest made in Lee County animal fighting bust

Posted at 2:03 PM, May 21, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-21 18:48:40-04

NORTH FORT MYERS, Fla. -- A Lee County man has been arrested on animal fighting charges after investigators raided a North Fort Myers property last month.

36-year-old Michael Miranda Rivera surrendered himself into the Lee County Sheriff's Office on Sunday.

He has been charged with two counts of Selling/Using Equipment for Animal Fighting, one count of Possession of Animals used for Fighting and one count of Own/Lease Property Used for Animal Fighting.

According to the sheriff's office, on April 22nd, the owner of a property in the 3500 block of South Road granted investigators access to the property.

That's where a deputy observed multiple roosters, each cages separately, within a barn located on the property.  An octagonal structure with three to four foot sides was discovered.  Through the glass-door of a refrigerator, syringes and Vitamin B-12 were clearly visible.

The Domestic Animal Services officer recognized that animals are commonly injected with hormones and steroids to increase their aggression.  A petition for search warrant was generated and ultimately signed.

Upon execution of the warrant, spurs commonly used in chicken fighting were found along with multiple animal stimulants, antiseptic, Vitamin B-12, sparring mitts, a scale and other items indicative of chicken fighting.

The majority of roosters had feathers removed from their breasts, legs and back and had their cones and waddles removed, as well.

Additionally, identification belonging to Michael Miranda Rivera was found on the premises.  Rivera was not present and an Open Booking Sheet was issued for his arrest.

A total of 57 fighting roosters, eight hens and 30 baby chickens were seized.