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Fourth person charged in Plumstead cockfighting ring


A New Jersey man is the fourth person charged in a cockfighting ring authorities broke up in February this year.

Mario Aldape-Palma, 59, of Princeton Junction, is facing charges he fled the scene when Plumstead Township police arrived at the 1000 block of North Easton Road after receiving an animal abuse tip, according to court documents.

Aldape-Palma is also charged with a felony for allegedly attending an event involving animal fighting, police said. If convicted, he could face seven years in prison. Fleeing or attempting to leave the scene is a second degree misdemeanor.

Police said Aldape-Palma refused to stop when ordered to. However, they were able to get the license plate number of the vehicle he used to flee the scene. A driver’s license photo confirmed his identity as the man authorities saw at the cockfight, police said.

Aldape-Palma was arraigned May 17 and released from Bucks County Correctional Center after posting $15,000-bail. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for July 1.

Manfid Duran and his wife Mara Duran, who rented the property and are accused of operating the cockfighting ring, are facing more than 100 felony and misdemeanor charges for animal neglect and owning, processing and selling animals for fighting.

The Bucks County SPCA brought the charges against the Durans. The agency reported finding the caged animals with no food, frozen water and inadequate shelter.

When SPCA officers arrived, they reported finding two injured roosters, 44 additional roosters, caged pullets, two others inside a locked vehicle and four dead roosters inside a barrel.

The Durans and Cesar Cordova-Morales, 21, of Chester County, waived their rights to preliminary hearings and are scheduled to appear in Bucks County Court in June for a formal arraignment.

Cordova-Morales was reportedly found at the scene carrying a satchel with bottles of steroids, cutting instruments, string, artificial metal spurs and other materials commonly associated with cockfighting, according to SPCA officials.

Cockfighting is illegal in all 50 states and is a third-degree felony in Pennsylvania.

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