Cockfighting operation broken up

By Ryan Nobles - bio | email
Posted by Shawn Maclauchlan

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - New information about the two people in Spotsylvania charged with running and elaborate operation - designed to breed roosters and chickens to fight.

Ellis Locklear and Tanya Williams have been indicted on several counts of animal cruelty.

The Spotsylvania sheriffs office claims that this is the largest seizure of its kind in Virginia.

There is not much left at the farm in Spotsylvania, but just a few weeks ago, the scene was much different.

Neighbors say the farm, owned by Locklear and Williams, was constantly filled with the screeches and screams of hundreds of birds. Birds like roosters and chickens that the sheriffs office now says were being trained to fight.

More than 300 fowl were discovered after a search warrant was executed at the beginning of March. An investigation led Locklear and Williams to be charged with more 50 different counts of animal cruelty and conspiracy. Neighbors that never actually saw what was going on inside, could tell that was going on, just wasn't right.

All of the roosters discovered at the farm were euthanized, the hens were able to be saved and have been adopted by a local farm. Its believed that the birds were trained in Central Virginia and then sent around the country to fight.

The sheriff's department said that they found enough evidence to charge Locklear and Williams with more than 150 different counts in this case.

Copyright 2010 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.