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5 Suspects In Raid On Cockfighting Ring Are Set Free

Aug 26, 2016 12:33AM ● By Bill Gilman

One of the roosters seized by police when they raided a cockfighting ring last week.

Five of the suspects arrested in a raid on an alleged cock fighting operation in Tewksbury earlier this year will not face animal cruelty charges, after a Lowell District Court Judge ruled there was not sufficient evidence to prove they were directly involved with any acts of animal cruelty.

Judge Cesar Archilla dismissed animal-cruelty charges against Rafael Matoso Cardosa, 25, of Dracut; Carlos Castillo, 30, of Lawrence; Cynthia Gonzalez, 41, of Lawrence; Jorge Martinez, 43, of Fitchburg; and Daury Medina, 30, of Methuen.

The defendants did not get off the hook completely, as they still face charges of being present at an animal fight. Those cases were continued to Nov. 8 for pre-trial conferencing.

Another defendant, Carlos Delacruz, 30, of Lawrence, reached a plea agreement and accepted two years of pretrial probation on charges of animal cruelty and being present at an animal fight. He must perform 50 hours of community service and complete the online program, which promotes animal welfare

In all, 24 people were arrested by Tewksbury police back in March, during a raid on 969 Chandler St.. To this point, 16 of those 24 people have had their cases disposed of with probation, according to prosecutor Whitney Williams.

Janette Montanes, 40, who was listed as living in the home, and her boyfriend, Frank Castro, 41, of Dorchester have been identified as the ringleaders of the cockfighting ring. They are still facing charges of keeping/promoting animal fighting, animal cruelty and being present at an animal fight. They are also scheduled for motions to suppress and dismiss on Nov. 8.

According to published reports,Tewksbury Police had the Chandler Street duplex under surveillance after receiving a tip from a confidential informant that people were gambling on cockfighting in one side of the basement.

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