x

Denver's Leading Local News: Weather, Traffic, Sports and more | Denver, Colorado | 9NEWS.com

Four men plead guilty to animal cruelty for running cockfighting ring

The men are accused of keeping 33 roosters in homemade wooden boxes without water or food.
Credit: DA's office
From left to right: Cody Smith, Austin Clanton, Jose Saltos and Kenneth Dotson

SUMMIT COUNTY, Colo. — Four men have pleaded guilty to animal cruelty for keeping, raising and transporting 33 roosters for cockfighting, according to the District Attorney's Office. 

Cody Smith, 29, of Russelville, Kentucky, was pulled over on Interstate 70 outside of Silverthorne on May 15. The Colorado State Patrol (CSP) trooper who pulled him over said she heard "squawking" coming from the silver Chevrolet Tahoe. 

CSP said they eventually discovered 33 roosters in Smith's truck being kept in homemade wooden boxes without water or food.

RELATED: Men wanted for transport, possession of cockfighting roosters

Two other suspects, Austin Clanton, 27, of Shelbyville, Tennessee, and Kenneth Dotson, 30, of Russelville, Kentucky, were also in the truck. The three men claimed they were transporting the roosters to a friend, later identified as Jose Saltos Jr., 43, in Lemoore, California.

The birds were brought to the Summit County Animal Shelter.

Dotson and Saltos pleaded guilty to charges on Jan. 23. Smith and Clanton pleaded guilty Monday.

Each suspect received the following sentences for their part in the crime:

  • Dotson received 1-year unsupervised probation and $1,000 in court costs and restitution ($500 to Summit County Animal Control)
  • Saltos received 12 months unsupervised deferred sentence plus $500 restitution to Summit Co. Animal Control
  • Smith received 1-year unsupervised probation, 60 days jail (suspended imposition) with $1,365.50 in court costs (to include $500 Animal Cruelty Surcharge and $500 restitution) 
  • Clanton received 12-months deferred sentence (including $500 restitution to Animal Control and court costs)

RELATED: Puerto Rico to approve cockfighting and defy US federal ban

SUGGESTED VIDEOS | Local stories from 9NEWS