Chance Campo, the district director for the Oklahoma Gamefowl Commission is facing charges relating to illegal cockfighting. Ten other people were arrested with Campos in a cockfighting bust in Carter County done by authorities last June.
Along with seven other people, Campos was charged by Carter County prosecutors with felony offenses relating to illegal cockfighting while four others are facing misdemeanor charges.
According to the court documents, nearly 200 people were inside a barn in Cater County when deputies arrived on the scene.
“The Carter County Sheriff’s Office got a tip that there was a fight occurring at this venue,” said Wayne Pacelle, president of Animal Wellness Action and the Center for a Humane Economy. “Sheriff’s deputies went to that venue, found that the fight was occurring right then and they interceded.”
The court records indicated that deputies saw individuals running from the barn and hiding in the nearby woods. One man, Son Phuoc Nguyen was arrested after he was seen trying to run away with a rooster in his arms.
The rooster was equipped with “gaffs“, which are blades attached to its legs. The man’s box truck was also confiscated by the authorities and in it they also found cockfighting cages, birds, and equipment.
Pacelle applauded the arrest and stated, “This Oklahoma Gamefowl Commission is just a charade. It’s a phony name. It’s just a bunch of cockfighters that tried to have an authentic or serious-minded name.”
On its website, the Oklahoma Gamefowl Commission describes itself as a nonprofit organization whose purpose is to promote the interests of gamefowl owners in Oklahoma.
“Mr. Campo’s arrest only confirms what we’ve long known: people involved in the Oklahoma Gamefowl Commission are cockfighters and they are intent on gutting a key state anti-cruelty law so they can avoid legal jeopardy for their felonious activities,” said Pacelle.
The organization has the ear of one local lawmaker though. JJ Humphrey, a member of the Oklahoma House of Representatives, co-authored a bill to reduce the penalty for cockfighting but it failed to get a single vote. “Mr. Campo’s actions do not represent the views of the Gamefowl Commission,” Humphrey said. “I will pledge to continue working with the Oklahoma Gamefowl Commission to obtain fairness and justice for the gamefowl industry in Oklahoma.”
Cockfighting has been illegal in Oklahoma for 20 years.
Pacelle said, “The only people interested in decriminalizing cockfighting in Oklahoma are cockfighters, “Now we’ve seen one of the leaders of the so-called Oklahoma Gamefowl Commission arrested for cockfighting crimes. It just makes it all very clear what the motivations are.”