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Wed Dec 4, 2019, 12:07 PM

This D.C. suburb was home to a breeding operation for cockfighting, police allege

Hat tip, DCist:

Public Safety
This D.C. suburb — known for its lawyers, lobbyists and scientists — was also home to a breeding operation for cockfighting, police allege

By Dan Morse
Dec. 4, 2019 at 8:00 a.m. EST

Several roosters paced in their own cages. Nearby was a larger pen, closed off by white barrels stained with what appeared to be blood splatter. Tiny leg bands that could be used to attach metal fighting spurs were found in a building.

To Animal Control officers, that evidence and more added up to one conclusion: The owner of a small Maryland farm just beyond Washington’s suburbs was breeding chickens for cockfighting. “He’s raising birds to fight,” said Thomas Koenig, director of the Montgomery County Animal Services Division. ... To the owner, the case is an overblown reaction to a chicken-breeding operation that has been in his family for generations. ... “We believe the authorities don’t fully understand what is going on here,” said Steve Chaikin, an attorney for the land owner, Raymond E. Romig.

The case against Romig began, animal control officers say, on Nov. 18, when one of them, Angel Ricketts, was making an unrelated dog call north of Burtonsville — an area 20 miles north of Washington that is rural by Montgomery standards. On another property in the area, Ricketts spotted the individual rooster cages and decided to check whether anything was amiss. ... She and police officer Erin Rorke tracked down Romig, who lives about six miles away, and he agreed to meet them back at the small farm.

This time, according to documents, the animal control officers took note of several roosters that been altered. Someone had removed their “combs,” which are fleshy crests atop rooster heads, and their “wattles,” the fleshy patches under their beaks. The practice, Rorke wrote in court papers, is done “to prevent injury during a cockfight, as a comb/wattle will bleed profusely when cut.” ... But Romig would not let the officers get close to the birds, they asserted in court papers.

After getting search warrants, Rorke went to Romig’s home in the Kemp Mill area of the county. She knocked on the front and side doors, got no answer and walked into an open door of the garage. She saw Romig atop a ladder trying to put a small red-and-white tackle box into the attic, Rorke asserted in court papers. ... She asked him to come down. ... “I thought you and I were friends,” he said while doing so, according to Rorke’s account filed in court.

Inside the tackle box, Rorke said, were several “gaffs,” which are small, ice-pick like spikes that are attached to rooster feet for fighting. In the garage, Rorke said, officers found several issues of the cockfighting magazines Gamecock and Grit and Steel, trophies from cockfighting competitions and VHS tapes of cockfights, according to court records.

Dan Morse covers courts and crime in Montgomery County. He arrived at the paper in 2005, after reporting stops at the Wall Street Journal, Baltimore Sun and Montgomery (Ala.) Advertiser, where he was a Pulitzer Prize finalist. He is the author of "The Yoga Store Murder." Follow https://twitter.com/morsedan

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Reply This D.C. suburb was home to a breeding operation for cockfighting, police allege (Original post)
mahatmakanejeeves Dec 4 OP
Farmer-Rick Dec 4 #1

Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Wed Dec 4, 2019, 12:12 PM

1. They should come check out the farms around here in east TN

People everywhere raising cocks. They have had their operations running for years and no one ever raids them. The city, county, state and federal police are too busy trying to catch people speeding in order to generate revenues in fines.

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