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Deputies seize over 200 roosters

More than 200 roosters believed to be headed for illegal cockfighting were seized Thursday afternoon from a Cherry Creek building, Chautauqua County sheriff's deputies reported.

Deputies searched the Farrington Hollow Road property at about 2 p.m. and broke up what they're calling "a major supplier" of American game fowl fighting roosters, along with seizing cockfighting equipment and many records.

The investigation lasted about two months, sheriff's officials said. Sheriff Joseph A. Gerace credited astute observations by a sheriff's deputy for leading authorities to the suspected supply house.

Gerace said the deputy was traveling through the area and encountered a fire next to a building on the property.

"When he investigated, he saw a number of pieces of apparatus [for cockfighting]," Gerace said.

Authorities believe the location was used to supply Chautauqua, Erie and Cattaraugus counties with roosters for illegal cockfights.

No arrests were made Thursday. However, investigators conferred with the Chautauqua County district attorney's office and expect arrests to be made shortly.

Police estimated the value of the birds at $60,000. Some of the birds were valued at about $2,000 each. The roosters were seized with the assistance of the Chautauqua County SPCA.

e-mail: tpignataro@buffnews.com

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