- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 17, 2014

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Authorities say two Ulster County farmers have pleaded guilty to a felony for their role in cockfighting.

The Attorney General’s Office says 71-year-old farm owner Moises Cruz and 60-year-old manager Manuel Cruz pleaded guilty in Ulster County Court to violating the state prohibition against animal fighting.

They could face up to nine months in jail at sentencing Feb. 26.

Calls to their lawyers were not immediately returned.

Almost 4,000 birds taken from the Plattekill farm have been euthanized.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty for Animals says it was necessary because of diseases and their highly aggressive nature.

The men were arrested in February following a raid at a Queens cockfight, where dozens of people were detained, including seven men who pleaded guilty in April to the felony.

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