Cops: 11 arrested in alleged cockfighting ring

PATERSON - Eleven people in Paterson are facing criminal charges after police broke up what they described as a cockfighting ring.

Officials discovered the alleged illegal operation inside the JC Pallet Company on Canal Street.

The raid occurred Saturday night at a building in an industrial area near Route 19. Officers allegedly came upon dozens of people who had wagered thousands of dollars on the contests. Police say when they entered the industrial building, dozens of people ran to the nearest exits, jumping over fences and onto rooftops.

Authorities found about 50 live chickens and took them to a shelter in Sussex County. They also found drugs that allegedly were given to the birds to bulk them up as well as metal talons used in fighting.

Authorities are still looking for the person that they believe is the ringleader of the alleged operation.

The 11 suspects appeared in court today. Their cases will be called again in December.

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