CRIME

Mario Romero Barillas, Dervaughn Turner arrested for animal fighting

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One man is facing deportation and another faces serious charges in separate incidents for dog and cockfighting, the Washington Humane Society reports.

One of the dogs involved in the dogfighting ring. (Photo: Washington Humane Society)

Mario Romero Barillas, a Guatemalan national who was in the United States illegally, was arrested for cockfighting late last year.

On December 1, Washington Humane Society Law Enforcement officers responded to a house in the 1600 block of Montello Street NE for a on reports of a rooster at the residence, the Humane Society says.

Authorities were brought in because it is illegal to own livestock in the District.

Officers found the roosters spurs had been sharpened to a point, a trait often found in roosters involved in cockfighting, which prompted an investigation.

Barillas, 38, who had entered the country illegally, will serve five years in federal detention before being deported to Guatemala.

“I didn't suspect that guy,” says Edgar Sanchez, Barilla’s neighbor. “He was really nice.”

In a separate case, Dervaughn Turner, 38, was arrested for housing dogs used in dog fighting. He was indicted Sept. 20 on charges of engaging in animal fighting, animal cruelty, and unlawful possession of a firearm.

On Jan. 17, police found three dogs at a home in the 4500 block of Clay Street NE. Two of the dogs received thousands of dollars' worth of treatment by veterinarians for injuries and wounds.

“It's very bizarre to have it back to back. You know we don't see it too often,” said Jennifer Gardner, a Humane Law Enforcement Officer. “It's actually great that we got to a point where we were able to make arrests.”

This is a photo of one of the roosters rescued.

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