New Mexico Police Bust Cockfighting Ring, Over 90 Arrests Made

By Cierra Putman
NewsWest 9

CLOVIS, NEW MEXICO – New Mexico State Police arrested nearly 100 people as they scrambled to break up a cockfighting ring this weekend.

Officers tell NewsWest 9, they made the bust after getting a tip Saturday evening.

Without hesitation, state police sent undercover officers to a barn on West Brady Street where they found a slew of illegal activity.

When they entered the barn, officers found a cockfighting ring, holding pins, concession stand and numerous record books.

They also say they saw people selling cocaine and marijuana before they called in reinforcements which included officers from the Clovis Police Department and Curry County Sheriff's Office.

In total, they made just over 90 arrests, rescued 52 roosters and confiscated marijuana, cocaine, and other drugs used on the roosters.

They didn't leave the scene until early Sunday morning.

"This is the biggest one," Lt. Eric F. Garcia, with the New Mexico State Police, said. "We generally go in and we fine everyone involved in the incident and we fine everyone involved and fight them in court. But with this one here, we took down the four main people. That way it takes a big hit because these ring leaders can't set up shop pretty quickly."

Most of the people arrested were let go on Sunday, but the so called ring leaders are still in custody.

They include the property owner 43-year-old Guillermo Viveros-Garcia, the alleged bookie 50-year-old Asuncion Mercado, as well as 40-year-old Jesus Figueroa and 46-year-old Francisco Lopez.

All four men were booked on felony charges in connection with the operation.