142 birds seized near Columbus amid cockfighting bust; multiple arrests made

BROWN COUNTY, Ind., -- Three people were arrested following a large cockfighting bust near Columbus.

Officials with the Indiana Gaming Commission confirm 142 birds were recovered as part of the bust.

According to court records in Brown County, the case began back in October 2017. The suspects arrested in the case have been identified as Mark Herrin, Randall Herrin and Darina Herrin, who face two felony counts related to animal fighting.

On Wednesday, law enforcement served two search warrants in Brown County and Bartholomew County.

The 142 birds were recovered with the help of the ASPCA.

The affidavit in the case explains that investigators found a derby sheet used to promote cockfighting last year. That sheet had a cell phone that traced back to one of the suspects. Investigators then spent months conducting surveillance of the property in Brown County and allegedly found evidence of cockfighting.

Undercover officers even attended a series of cockfights in Kentucky and found the three suspects working the concession and weigh-in areas.

"These operations are brutal and barbaric.  I mean, the things they do to these animals for profit and entertainment is just sickening to be honest," said Tim Rickey with the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

The birds were allegedly being bred and trained in Indiana and taken to Kentucky to fight because the crime is only a misdemeanor there instead of a felony as it is in Indiana.