POSTED: Saturday, April 21, 2012 - 12:12pm
UPDATED: Saturday, April 21, 2012 - 4:40pm
NORTH ELSA — Sheriff's Deputies believe these people are responsible for the cockfighting operation that turned deadly killing three and leaving eight more injured.
"There were several fighting venues, bleachers, concession stands, a weigh in room, a parking area...even outside bathrooms. They had everything that you needed," said Hidalgo County Sheriff, Lupe Trevino.
Humberto Blanco, Leticia Leandro and Heriberto Leandro were all charged with cockfighting and just this morning Trevino decided to also tack on Engaging In Criminal Activity.
"It takes it up one notch on the severity of felony classification," said Trevino.
Leticia and Heriberto Leandro rented out the property to Blanco, the accused operator of the ring. Each suspect is being held on a one-million dollar bond...but it's more than the illegal activity that's upsetting Trevino.
"But this is what upsets me is that the neighbors have known about this for years and I believe they admitted it on camera to some of you," said Trevino.
Trevino is talking about neighbors...like this man who told KVEO NewsCenter 23 that cockfighting happens all the time there...
"The roosters, they're gonna fight em and they're gonna die. That's been going on for 80 years and you can't stop it, you're wasting your time."
Trevino says the he can't be everywhere at the same time and it becomes a crucial matter when people's lives are at risk. The three victims that were shot to death are Ramiro Garcia, Juan Garcia and McAllen resident, Arturo Garza.
Sheriff Trevino says the two Garcia's were brothers and a part of a criminal family. He believes it's what prompted the shooting.
"The brother...Garcia brothers were definitely without a doubt the target of the assassination," said Trevino.
A lot of different groups had it out for the brothers, making it hard to pinpoint who the shooters are.
"We have a lot of anonymous calls giving us good tips and I think hopefully in the near future we'll be able to resolve this," said Trevino.
Trevino has two other people in mind, one of which he believes is the kingpin...but isn't releasing their identity just yet.
"One is a major operator that is brokering a lot of these deals and we are finally able to identify the head of cockfighting operations," said Trevino.
As far as the eight injured spectators...Trevino says some are still in the hospital, but none of their injuries will be fatal.
"The state law on cockfighting permits us to charge even just participants and we will do so at the appropriate time," said Trevino.