Two Uvaldans Caught in Chicken Fighting Scandal
A man and woman from Uvalda were arrested during “Operation Fowl Play,” which was carried out in Jeff Davis and Appling Counties on June 3-6.
Justin Lee Brown, 35, and Kailey Nicole Rogers, 23, were two of 12 individuals from nearby counties arrested during the bust and are both facing charges of parties to a crime of cruelty to animals and commercial gambling. The case, which is being investigated by the Jeff Davis Sheriff’s Office, the United States Department of Agriculture, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, first appeared on the radar of law enforcement after investigations into reports of chicken fighting derbies in Hazlehurst. Over the course of several months, agents were able to identify property owners, facilitators, handlers, spectators and several more individuals involved and participating in the activity.
Beginning June 3, 10 agencies executed a search warrant on a property off of Martin Sellers Road in Jeff Davis County. This area included two residences and a barn area where the derbies were suspected to take place. Agents discovered chicken fighting tools, pens, cages, blind boxes, discarded dead roosters, drugs, firearms and large sums of cash. At the derby site, agents discovered a sophisticated arena that contained an office, a main pit with stadium seating, two side pits, a weigh station, fighting board, calendars and ledgers as well as a concession stand and its menu.
On June 4, a search warrant was executed at a residence in Appling County. When officers arrived on scene, they discovered two unidentified individuals at the residence attempting to remove evidence from the home. Agents found chicken fighting tools, ammunition, suspected marijuana, suspected methamphetamine and a stolen firearm in a vehicle. Appling County deputies also assisted Jeff Davis investigators in recovering nine weapons that were removed from the residence the night before. The next day, a search warrant was executed at a 10-acre residence in Jeff Davis County. During the search, officers discovered a game fowl farm with over 100 rooster pens, chicken fighting tools, several firearms and large sums of cash.
A total of 28 firearms were removed from the possessions of three convicted felons and the sum of cash seized was over $90,000.
This investigation is ongoing and more arrests are expected. Jeff Davis County Sheriff Preston Bohannon thanked all agencies who assisted in the performance of the search warrant and who are actively involved, include, Dodge County SRT SWAT, Nicholls Police Department, the Georgia State Patrol, Alma-Bacon Crime Suppression Unit, Appling County Sheriff’s Office, Mt. Vernon Police Department, Pierce County Sheriff’s Office, United States Department of Agriculture, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.