More than 250 chickens — allegedly used for cockfighting — were seized on Rockland Key on Thursday when authorities served warrants on two properties during a drug investigation.
Rockland Key is south of Big Coppitt Key and north of Key Haven.
The first search was at 502 Park Dr. No. 2, where authorities found Jorge Blanco Jr., 20. Also found, according to the Monroe County Sheriff's Office, were a shotgun, rifle, handgun and $3,306 in suspected drug proceeds, plus a scale used to weigh illegal substances.
Earlier, during the investigative phase of the case, spokeswoman Becky Herrin said, detectives saw Blanco walk across the street to 501 Park Dr. They later found 169 chickens there that appear to have been used to fight. They had injuries typical of cockfighting, and detectives also located blood in a cockfighting ring on the property, along with several spurs, syringes and medication used to treat the chickens.
The second search warrant location was 502 Park Dr. No. 1, where they found Jorge Enrique Blanco. A search of the home revealed 1.1 ounces of cocaine and $905 in suspected drug proceeds, Herrin said.
Blanco Jr. was charged with 52 counts of animal cruelty, and fighting and baiting chickens. The other Blanco, 41, was charged with trafficking cocaine and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Overall, more than 250 birds combined were found at both homes and turned over to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
Along with the sheriff's office, participating investigating agencies were the state Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Monroe County Animal Control.