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Sheriff Joe's Posse Investigates Alleged Cockfighting

LAVEEN, AZ - The Maricopa County Sheriff's SWAT team complete with two armored vehicles descended on a small farm in Laveen Wednesday to investigate a cockfighting ring.

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An MCSO spokesperson said detectives and SWAT team members served a search warrant early Wednesday morning at the home of 42-year-old Jesus Sanchez Llovera.

"Here he is. Still in action. We have over 100 roosters, we have paraphernalia, that's related to cockfighting," said Arpaio.

Llovera was on probation after being arrested at a cockfight last year. The sheriff tells us he was the only one home at the time of the morning raid.

Afterward, the windows of his home were broken, his front gate stood bashed in, and there was a movie star in his front yard -- actor Steven Segal.

"He's working with us just like 3,000 other posse," Arpaio said.

Segal, the actor turned cop with a reality show, was happy to be along for the ride.

"Animal cruelty is one of my pet peeves," Segal said.

The former action star tells ABC15 he took on a strong role in Wednesday's bust.

"I came in on the 150 and we broke down the gate," Segal said of riding an MCSO tank onto Sanchez's property. "I deployed out on the side of the house, and guarded one side of the house, to see if anyone would run out."

Arpaio was quick to dismiss questions about the raid as a publicity stunt for Segal's show.

"His role is...He's working with us just like other posse people," Arpaio said of the star's involvement.

He told me he would roll out his heavy gear for any situation that calls for it, including a rooster raid with a movie star.

"I am going to protect my deputies," Arpaio said. "If I have to use a SWAT team, I am going to use a SWAT team ready for action in case something goes wrong."

An MCSO spokesperson said Llovera has been charged with 115 felony counts of owning, possessing, keeping, or training roosters with the intent to fight.

Investigators said more than 100 birds have been euthanized at the scene. The remaining birds will be turned over to a third party.

Click to view image: 'Pic 1'

Added: Mar-9-2011 
By: Arizona_Patriot
Tags: Sheriff, Joe, Investigates, Alleged, Cockfighting, Operation, Arizona, Steven, Sagal,
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