Meth bust leads to discovery of cockfighting ring, South Fulton police say

Rows of coops were found in a Union City barn, where roosters were kept for a suspected cockfighting ring, according to South Fulton police.
Rows of coops were found in a Union City barn, where roosters were kept for a suspected cockfighting ring, according to South Fulton police.

Credit: Channel 2 Action News

Credit: Channel 2 Action News

An investigation into a suspected methamphetamine lab led South Fulton police to the discovery of a cockfighting ring, authorities said.

Isidoro Palacios, 59, of McDonough, was arrested and charged with trafficking methamphetamine, according to jail records. Palacios was booked into the Fulton County Jail on Tuesday and remains there on $100,000 bond.

South Fulton police confirmed in an email to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution they seized 77 pounds of meth between two locations: a house that contained a lab on Westbrook Road in Union City, and a barn on Stonewall Tell Road that also housed the birds.

According to police, the house on Westbrook Road is owned by Palacios and he is renting the barn on Stonewall Tell Road. They said the meth lab in the home was large enough that it used four clothes dryers in the process of manufacturing the illegal drug.

South Fulton police worked the case with the help of Homeland Security Investigation agents, Channel 2 Action News reported.

Methamphetamine was found inside of a clothes dryer at the lab on Westbrook Road, police said.
Methamphetamine was found inside of a clothes dryer at the lab on Westbrook Road, police said.

Credit: Channel 2 Action News

Credit: Channel 2 Action News

“We’re saving a lot of lives,” South Fulton police Lt. S. McKesey said. “It’s a big win for the city of South Fulton that we’re able to get this amount off the streets.”

“I’m really proud of the performance of our people. They were able to uncover this meth lab, actually bust it and shut it down,” South Fulton police Chief Keith Meadows said.

Meth was first discovered in the barn, which also had walls lined with coops that held strutting roosters thought to be used for cockfighting. The raid at that property led to the discovery of the meth lab, police said.

Anti-cockfighting activist Marty Irby, executive director of Animal Wellness Action, applauded the work of the South Fulton police and noted that cockfighting is usually associated with other illegal activities. The practice is also a health and human safety threat, Irby said, providing conditions where diseases like avian flu can jump the species barrier.

Cockfighters will sometimes revive the animals “in mouth-to-mouth resuscitation-like contact so the gamecocks can continue to fight to the death — blood and feathers flying all around,” Irby said.

“The city of South Fulton has the most undeveloped land in the region and it’s easy for people to try and exploit that,” Meadows said. “We’re right here near our airport and so when you have major interstates running through our city, being able to do traffic interdiction is extremely important.”

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