Dozens face deportation after Detroit cockfighting, gambling ring bust

Federal immigration officials and other authorities raided an abandoned building in southwest Detroit over the weekend and arrested dozens of people, whom investigators said were involved in an illegal cockfighting and gambling ring. Officials said about 50 people face possible deportation. File Photo by Ismael Mohamad/UPI

March 20 (UPI) — Federal immigration officials on Monday said they busted an illegal cockfighting and gambling ring in downtown Detroit over the weekend, which now has about 50 undocumented immigrants facing possible deportation.

Investigators raided an abandoned building in the city on Saturday, officials said, where they found about 85 people and 100 birds that were used for cockfighting.

“This operation was taken down because we had information that it was a nuisance in the community,” U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement spokesman Khaalid Walls said Monday. “The criminal investigation is ongoing. It’s being led by ICE Homeland Security Investigations.”

ICE was joined in the raid by agents of the U.S. Border Patrol, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of Inspector General, the Michigan State Police, the Detroit Police Department and the Internal Revenue Service.

Officials said the sweep was executed following several months of investigation.

More than half of the people arrested in the building will face deportation hearings, investigators said.

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