Suspects In Cockfighting Ring Arraigned, Police Release Photos From Raid
Mar 15, 2016 10:26PM
By Bill Gilman
One of the roosters seized by police when they raided a cockfighting ring last week.
It was an especially busy Monday morning in Lowell District Court, as 23 of 24 suspects were arraigned on various charges connected with a raid on a Chandler Street home, where cockfighting was allegedly going on in the basement.
Janette Montanez, 40, who rented the home at 969 Chandler St., and her boyfriend Frank Castro, 41, of Dorchester, face the stiffest charges in the case. On Monday, Montenez pled not guilty to charges of being present at an animal fight, animal cruelty and promote an animal fight. Castro will face the same charges but was not arraigned Monday.
According to court records, Montanez was released on $1,000 cash bail, ordered to not own any animals and not have contact with any of the other defendants.
Cynthia Gonzalez, 41, of 245 Andover St., Lawrence, MA. Armando Maciel, 55, of 81 Front St., Merrimack, NH. Vicente Sanchez, 31, of 121 High St., Lawrence, MA. Naury Rojas, 28, of 101 Willow Street, Lawrence, MA. Itari Ribeiro Junior, 40, of 131 Afra Drive, Boylston, MA. Luis Castillo, 27, of 100 Saratoga Street, Lawrence MA. Ismeal Ortiz, 30, of 113 Margin St. #3, Lawrence MA. Felix Maldonado, 40, of 138 Pelham Road, Salem NH. Angel Chinea, 32, of 119 Stevens St., Lowell MA. Carlos Castillo, 30, of 51 Bromfield Street, Lawrence MA. Angel Renta, 25, of 85 Egmont St., Brookline MA. Joan Mireles, 36, of 189 Aiken Ave, Lowell MA. Rafael Cardoso, 25, of 93 Catherine St., Dracut MA. Yan Ramirez, 25, of 38 Yale St., Lawrence MA. Victor Rolon-Hernandez, 26, of 94 Daniels St., Fitchburg MA. Jorge Martinez, 43, of 94 Daniels St., Fitchburg MA. Juan Estevez, 47, of 245 Andover St. #2, Lawrence MA. Victor De Los Santos, 50, of 57 Brookfield Street, Lawrence MA. Richard Ramirez, 24, of 90 Lexington Street, Lawrence MA. Deyvi Martinez, 36, of 245 Andover Street #2, Lawrence MA. Carlos De La Cruz, 30, of 102 Saratoga St., Lawrence MA, and Daury Medina, 30, of 111 Boston St., Methuen MA were arraigned on charges of cruelty to animals and being present at an animal fight.
All were released on personal recognizance pending their next court appearance for pre-trial conferencing on April 8.
According to court records, Tewksbury Police, along with Animal Control Officers and State Police, converged on the residence Friday night, after receiving a tip that there was cockfighting and gambling going on in the home.
Police first entered the adjoining apartment and listened to the activities going on next door through the basement wall. They subsequently raided the Montanez apartment, made the arrests, seized 18 gamecocks, four packages of spurs and $13,000 in cash. Five of the gamecocks had to be euthanized due to the severity of their injuries.
In asking for Montanez to be released on personal recognizance, Montanez' attorney claimed her client had no knowledge of the illegal activities going on in her basement. She claims she believed Castro's birds were egg-laying chickens and that the people who flocked to her basement were there to play cards.