The tip came in a few weeks ago: Someone told police that people were gambling and selling drugs at a home in the Redland in deep South Miami-Dade.
Undercover Miami-Dade police officers, posing as customers, started dropping in and making drug buys.
On Thursday, armed with a search warrant, police entered the home and made an eye-catching discovery: 200 people, some armed, almost all gambling, standing and seated around a cockfighting ring that had been built in a theater-like setting.
Police found firearms, drugs, thousands of dollars and dozens of roosters inside small stacked cages. Money was found everywhere, said Miami-Dade Detective Roy Rutland.
County property records show the 4,454-square-foot home at 25425 SW 212th St. is owned by Alejandro Queupumil. Police did not mention any names Thursday, only that they have the ringleader in custody.
Rutland said the crowd taken into custody at the three-bedroom, two-bath home can expect charges including illegal weapons, narcotics, illegal gambling and cruelty to animals.
Though cockfighting is fairly common, especially in deep South Miami-Dade, Rutland called Thursday’s haul “one of the larger ones we’ve seen in quite a while.”
In a cockfight, two roosters are placed inside a circular ring with a two-foot wall. They use their sharp claws to fight to the death.
When police arrived Thursday, the scene was active. The department’s Organized Crime Section was expected to be on the scene well into the evening, as they sort out who’s who, and who is charged with what crime.