LEXINGTON, SC (AP) - Federal authorities say 21 people have been charged for their roles in cockfighting businesses operating in South Carolina.
U.S. Attorney Walt Wilkins said Wednesday that undercover officers attended eight cockfighting events in Lexington and Williamsburg counties during a yearlong investigation.
The three indictments accuse the group of operating an unlawful animal fighting venture and an illegal gambling business. Authorities also say they conspired to violate the Animal Welfare Act by staging or participating in cockfighting contests.
Conspiracy, operating an unlawful animal fighting venture and operating an illegal gambling business carry up to five years in prison and $250,000 in fines on each charge.
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.