Convicted Cockfighters Sentenced
Judge Spencer Eig ignored prosecutor recommendations for jail time and sentenced the ten defendants to one year of probation during which they must stay away from the ranch where they were arrested and have no contact with live poultry. He ordered eight of the men to perform 100 hours of community service and two of the men (with prior convictions) to perform 200 hours of community service. He withheld adjudication for six of the defendants, meaning that if they successfully complete their probation, their records will be cleared.
(Hialeah, Fla.) From a street near a rural ranch, police officers heard roosters screaming and loud yelling consistent with gambling. Upon further inspection, they discovered a cockfight with over 100 attendees and over 100 roosters. One rooster was dead in the middle of the ring. The officers made numerous arrests.
Defendants in such cases will often enter into plea bargains, but ten of the suspects went to trial and were convicted of attending an animal fight, which is a felony in Florida. Judge Spencer Eig made the highly unusual move of releasing the Defendants pending sentencing – this despite not one having an incentive to appear for sentencing at this point.
Due to the unusual circumstances of this cockfighting case gaining a conviction at trial, the sentence could be precedent-setting, making it particularly important. Considering the judge’s release of the convicted Defendants, he seems likely to order a lenient sentence.
Rolando Diaz (F0929406A)
Irinel Lopez (F0929406B)
Guillermo Sorribes (F0929406D)
Adonys De La Meza (F0929406E)
Lazaro A. Prol (F0929406F)
Pedro Manuel Perez(F0929406H)
Aldo Tapanes (F0929406J)
Leonel Caceres (F0929406K)
Alvaro E. Coffat (F0929406L)
Pedro Candanos (F0929406N)