DETROIT - About 200 people were inside a building in southwest Detroit on Saturday when it was raided by heavily armed federal agents investigating an alleged cockfighting ring, officials said.
The raid, which took place about 1 p.m. in the 1200 block of Green Street near Interstate 75, was led by the Department of Homeland Security.
Dozens of people were arrested as agents executed a federal search warrant.
The Department of Homeland Security called this a dangerous operation and said there's evidence suggesting roosters were taken to the building specifically for illegal gambling and other financial crimes.
The monthslong investigation took many people by surprise as agents raided the area.
“I came out hands up,” one person said.
Dozens of men were seen restrained with zip-ties and spotted in handcuffs after federal agents stormed the alleged cockfighting ring.
Cages of roosters were taken from the building next to Happy Bar near Vernor & Springwells.
Homeland Security officials said agents had been investigating transnational organized crime in southeast Michigan for several months, looking into the possibilities of money laundering, financial crimes, cockfighting and gambling.
“(I) heard noise in (the) back,” another person said. “(It) looked like police and immigration.”
One man interviewed by Local 4 was an American citizen and allowed to go. Many other people without proper documentation were taken into custody.
Those detained will be taken to facilities in Detroit and Gibraltar, and will appear before an immigration judge in the coming weeks.
Homeland Security collaborated with the Department of Agriculture, Border Patrol and Internal Revenue in the investigation.
One person was taken to a hospital with complaints of chest pains, but no one was injured.
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