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Updated: Stolen items found in cockfighting investigation
VAN BUREN COUNTY, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) – A Van Buren County man is in hot water after police discover 18 dead roosters.
They say 32-year-old Bobby Johnson was running a cockfighting operation.
The investigation began when police received an anonymous tip that there could be a cockfighting ring at a home on 48th Street. When they went to investigate, they say they found evidence supporting that, and more.
Ed Alderman has lived along 48th Street in Lawrence for 30 years, but on Monday morning he knew something was up at his neighbor’s house.
“When I left for work about seven o’clock there were two sheriff’s deputy’s cars in front of that house,” said Alderman.
That’s because police were out searching the property.
“When they went in the barn, it had a dirt floor, they found a patch of blood along with several feathers lying around,” said Lt. Bob Kirk, Van Buren County Sheriff’s Department.
Police say they discovered 18 dead roosters along with a stolen quad runner, mini bike and tools.
Now 32-year-old Bobby Johnson is facing three counts of animal fighting and three counts of receiving and concealing stolen property.
“I was surprised,” said Alderman, “I hadn’t noticed any crowds or anything around there, it shocked me a little bit.”
Newschannel 3 attempted to speak with Johnson on Monday, but no one answered the door. One neighbor who did not wish to appear on camera says she knew Johnson was fighting his roosters and says she often saw them tethered in the backyard.
Police say Johnson admitted that he fought one bird, but said nothing about the others. He is currently out on a $20,000 bond. He is due back in court on March 12th.