Additional Howard County cockfighting suspects fined

Top row: (From left) Angel Gutierrez, Eduardo Alcantar, Gustavo Renteria Garcia, Jesus Serrano...
Top row: (From left) Angel Gutierrez, Eduardo Alcantar, Gustavo Renteria Garcia, Jesus Serrano Sanchez, Jorge Rodriguez Bottom row: (From left) Jose Reyes Jiminez, Martin Montelongo, Victor Mora, Ruben Mess Puentes, Ernesto Ceballos Lopez(Hall County Department of Corrections/Merrick County Sheriff's Office/KSNB)
Published: Mar. 27, 2023 at 5:40 PM CDT
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ST. PAUL, Neb. (KSNB) - A judge has handed out more fines in a Howard County cockfighting case.

Another four men took plea bargains and were convicted of misdemeanor possession of animal fighting paraphernalia. They were originally charged with felony cockfighting. The judge ordered $500 fines against Martin Montelongo and Ernesto Ceballos Lopez of Grand Island, Angel Gutierrez of Chapman and Ruben Meza Puentes of Wood River.

Earlier this month Victor Mora of Grand Island and Gustavo Renteria Garcia of Palmer were convicted of the same misdemeanor charge and fined $500 each.

Four other men are charged with felony cockfighting and face a probable cause hearing next week in Howard County Court in St. Paul. They are Eduardo Alcantar, Jesus Serrano Sanchez, Jorge Rodriguez and Jose Reyes Jimenez, all of the Grand Island.

Howard County authorities arrested 10 men Dec. 17 at a rural location about 15 miles north of Grand Island.

State statutes define cockfighting to include promoting, working at or witnessing a cock fight. The crime also includes animals being made to fight each other, which can include dogs, chickens and bearbaiting. According to online dictionary definitions, bearbaiting is the practice of one or more dogs attacking a chained bear.