- Associated Press - Monday, August 17, 2015

MABELVALE, Ark. (AP) - Eleven people face animal fighting charges after Saline County authorities say an anonymous tip led them to find a cockfighting event.

The county sheriff’s office says deputies responded Sunday to a wooded area behind a Mabelvale residence, where they found between 30 and 35 people near what appeared to be a cockfighting pit.

Several people ran away, but 11 were arrested and charged with felony unlawful animal fighting charges. The sheriff’s office says several were arrested for felony fleeing, and one was charged with possession of a firearm.

Deputies say they recovered live chickens, a loaded handgun, ledger books, a scale and about $2,500 from the scene.

Authorities say the chickens appeared to be in good health and were taken to Benton Animal Control.

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