WESLEY CHAPEL — Deputies say they've arrested the kingpin in a massive cockfighting ring brought down by U.S. marshals in what they dubbed "Operation Angry Birds."
Authorities called it the largest cockfighting bust in New York ever, netting 70 people and seizing some 3,000 roosters, according to the New York Post. Most of those arrested were attending a cockfight Saturday night in a basement on Jamaica Avenue in Queens. The birds were being kept in tiny cages and had razors attached to them, the Post said.
Investigators learned that Moises Cruz, 71, a prominent member of the ring, was visiting his sister-in-law in Pasco County to escape winter storms in New York. The state issued a warrant for his arrest.
Pasco deputies found him Wednesday morning at 1019 Appian Place in the Meadow Pointe subdivision. No cockfighting equipment was found inside the home, deputies said.
Cruz, of Plattekill, N.Y., was booked on a fugitive from justice charge and is waiting to be expedited back to New York. He is charged there with prohibition of animal fighting.