These are the suspects arrested for cockfighting. Clockwise from the top left: Nathan Bearden, Rodney Gordy, James Alexander, Robert Short, Bobby McDow, Randy Lamb. Source: Jefferson County Sheriff's Office
The scene of the cockfight on Tom Salter Road. Source: WBRC video
Deputies say there were two bays where the roosters were fighting when they arrived on the scene.
Officials seized a leader board, scales, bands for the birds' legs, a hypodermic needle and drug paraphernalia at the scene. Source: Melanie Posey
Deputies seized 9 roosters at the scene, but say the property owner is raising about 100 more.
JEFFERSON COUNTY, AL (WBRC) -
Jefferson County Sheriff's deputies arrested six men and charged another one in connection to a cockfighting incident in Bessemer.
Deputies say they received a report about the cockfighting on Saturday, Feb. 2 around 10 a.m. and responded to a residence in the 200 block of Tom Salter Road.
At the scene, deputies heard loud noises coming from a clearing near the residence. Approximately 20 people had gathered around a make shift pen and roosters were fighting in the pen with metal spurs attached to their feet.
"There was an outside tent area, two different bays where the roosters were fighting," Deputy Dwight Sloan, a Jefferson County animal cruelty officer, explained.
Deputies seized nine roosters that day, but guess there are at least 100 more being raised by the property owner.
They also found a scale, a hypodermic needle for the birds, bands for their legs and a leader board to show which rooster was winning. Nearly a dozen people ran away into the woods when authorities arrived, but eight were detained.
So far, six people have been charged, including the property owner.
"He did admit he knew it was against the law and he knew he shouldn't be doing it," Sloan said.
While authorities didn't discover any money on Saturday, they did find drug paraphernalia. They say the concern with cockfighting is more than just the sport itself.
"You have drugs and gambling...what two more things do you need to keep under control in this state?" Sloan said.
Although cockfighting is illegal in Alabama, Deputy Sloan said the state has the weakest law in the country with a maximum fine of $50.
The following people were charged with cockfighting and have been released on a $300 bond each:
-Randy Lamb, 56 of Quinton -James Alexander, 21 of Adger -Bobby McDow, 51 of Minor -Nathan Bearden, 25 of Mulga -Robert Andy Short, 50 of Bessemer -Rodney Gordy, 43 of Dora
An outstanding warrant for cockfighting has been obtained against David Wayne Smith of Quinton, Ala.