Monroe County Sheriff Cecil Cantrell claims that James Isic Morgan was a busy man.
Cantrell’s department arrested Morgan, 33, on Sunday for possession of a weapon by a convicted felon. Investigators executed a search warrant of the home and found dozens of chickens that are used in cockfighting.
Cantrell told The Dispatch his office recovered 31 roosters and 16 hens from Morgan’s home on Becker Bottom Road. Officers also found spurs to be used in cockfighting.
For now, the chickens are being housed in separate cages at the Monroe County Detention Center. He said he is awaiting word from a judge on what to do with the chickens.
Cantrell said authorities went to Morgan’s home after neighbors complained about hearing gunfire. Investigator Brandon Davis said authorities also found drugs on the property.
“He is a convicted felon out of Illinois, and we ran a search warrant on his house and found firearms and marijuana,” Davis said. “We saw the roosters, and he made the statement that he was raising them and selling them in Ripley to the Indians who would fight them. He said it was out of season, and the season was about to start.”
Cantrell said the chickens were an oddity — Monroe County authorities do not often turn up cockfighting rings or bust people for training or raising chickens to cockfight.
“We’re not really going out there looking for it,” Cantrell said. “We have so much going on with drugs and stealing that we’re not out here targeting it.”
Morgan has been released from custody on a $5,000 bond.
Alex Holloway was formerly a reporter with The Dispatch.
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