GRANGER — Reports of a possible cockfighting operation at 1261 Beam Road, Granger has led to the arrest of Eleuterio Prieto Jr., 37, by Yakima County Sheriff Deputies Tuesday morning, Feb. 18.
The cockfighting operation was discovered when Yakima County Code Enforcement Officer Janna Jackson was investigating the property due to a complaint regarding an occupied RV on the property.
“We had received reports that the sewage from the RV was seeping onto the ground,” County Code Enforcement public Information Officer Jacob Clay said Friday, Feb. 21.
Clay stated living in an RV is not allowed in the unincorporated areas of Yakima County.
“Upon investigating the RV, we also found a structure that was constructed without permits. The owner of the property will be removing the structure and will work towards obtaining compliance with all codes Public Services’ governs, Clay stated.
“As far as what happens to the roosters – that decision is between law enforcement and the property owner. Yakima County Public Services, Code Enforcement, is not aware of the status of the roosters found at the site,” he added. YSO spokesman Casey Schilperoort reported the fowl has been turned over the property owner.
As for Prieto, he made his preliminary court appearance Wednesday, Feb. 19 before Judge Richard H. Bartheld in Yakima County Superior Court on charges of animal fighting.
According to the court documents, when Yakima County Sheriff deputies were alerted to the possible animal fighting operation by Jackson after she discovered what she thought was large cockfighting ring inside a large makeshift tarped structure.
Prieto initially denied any knowledge of the ring. Following a search of property materials used in animal fighting, including caged roosters, ledgers and betting charts were found in the ring and in the red and white trailer where Prieto was residing for the last three days, according to the court documents.
Prieto’s comments upon being arrested was that “if he had known [the deputies] were coming he “would have stashed it way better,” according to Yakima Sheriff Deputy C. Johnson’s narrative regarding the investigation.
He is currently in Yakima County Jail in Yakima on a $10,000 bond.