SOURCE: Last Chance for Animals

July 17, 2007 14:55 ET

UPDATE: Nation's Largest Cockfighting Bust -- 81 Defendants to Be Arraigned Tomorrow in Crawford County, Arkansas

Last Chance for Animals Holds Press Conference

VAN BUREN, AR--(Marketwire - July 17, 2007) - 81 people will be federally charged tomorrow in Crawford County Circuit Court in connection with the nation's largest cockfighting raid. On May 19th, with information provided by Last Chance for Animals Special Investigations Unit, 150 law enforcement personnel from federal, state and local law enforcement agencies raided a crowded and popular cockfighting arena near Van Buren, Arkansas.

Charges will include operating a gambling house, criminal use of property or laundering criminal proceeds, misdemeanor cruelty to animals and engaging in a continuing criminal gang, organization or enterprise.

Hayden Hise, head referee and author of the book, "Modern Day Cockfighting Rules," and the four property owners -- Kenneth Stanley Donelson, Cecelia Donelson, Michael Ray Donelson and Andrea Donelson -- are among those to be charged. Kenneth Donelson and Michael Ray Donelson are targets of a federal civil lawsuit that seeks to seize 120 acres linked to the alleged illegal cockfighting ring.

LCA COCKFIGHTING PRESS CONFERENCE

Where:  In Front Of The Crawford County Circuit Court - Division II
            8 So 6th Street
            Van Buren, AR  72956
When:   9:30 AM, Wednesday, July 18th
Who:    Midwest Representative, Special Investigations Unit,
        Last Chance for Animals

LCA would like to thank the Arkansas State Police, the Crawford County Sheriffs department and the Crawford County District Attorney's office, as well as the Arkansas State Drug Task Force, the U.S. Marshall, U.S. Customs, The Office of Inspector General and the FBI.

Last Chance for Animals (LCA), a national non-profit animal rights organization based in Los Angeles, has been active for almost 25 years. Founded and led by animal expert, author and actor, Chris DeRose, LCA fights for the rights of animals by conducting investigations that expose animal cruelty, launching public awareness campaigns, pushing animal friendly legislation and helping prosecute animal abusers. For more information, visit www.LCAnimal.org.

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