Cockfighting operation raided

The Chilton County Sheriff’s Department and the state Fire Marshall’s Office on Saturday raided an alleged cockfighting operation off County Road 55.

Sheriff Kevin Davis said his department received numerous tips about the operation and began building a case for a search warrant, which was signed by U.S. District Judge Mark Fuller.

Numerous law enforcement officers visited the residence, near the intersection of 55 and County Road 607, about 9 a.m. on Saturday.

Though there were no fights in progress at the time, Davis said officers confiscated telltale evidence, including spurs that are attached to the roosters’ legs during fights.

“They weren’t fighting chickens, but they were getting ready to fight chickens,” Davis said.

Ninety-six people were at the premises, Davis said, with about 90 percent coming from outside Chilton County.

The property owner, Ruben Ray Smitherman, was arrested and charged with cockfighting (a violation that carries a $50 fine) and promoting gambling.

Smitherman has since posted a $1,250 bond.

The fire marshal’s office is involved in the case because of fire code violations associated with a wooden structure that housed the alleged cockpit at the residence.

“It meets no standards,” state Fire Marshal Ed Paulk said. “If a fire were to break out under those conditions, we’d have massive loss of life.”

Paulk said an investigation of the structure was conducted Saturday, and the property owner was notified he can’t use the building as an assembly place.

Davis encouraged residents with knowledge of other cockfighting operations to call the Sheriff’s Department’s secret witness line at 755-7898.

“It’s something we’re going to continue to work on,” Davis said about cockfighting.

SportsPlus

Billingsley

Primm collects three hits in AHSAA North-South All-Star Game

Clanton

Unemployment rate spikes in Chilton from May to June

Clanton

Hall, American Legion riders roll through Clanton for Legacy Run

Clanton

Chilton Toyz on display in annual car show

News

Jones selected by Royals in sixth round of MLB Draft

Clanton

Parole denied in June for Chilton offender

Clanton

Clements gives State of Schools report; shows improvement in multiple facets

Clanton

United Way Hands On hosting backpack drive for central Alabama students

Clanton

Changes to this year’s Peach Festival welcomed tens of thousands throughout June

Clanton

Fourth annual CAW Back to School Bash upcoming in Clanton

Clanton

Juvenile female killed in train accident in Clanton

Clanton

One-time grant opportunities open for Chilton County nonprofits until July 19

News

Hand leaves Verbena better than she found it, retires as principal

Clanton

Benz’s new book features a dog’s journey to helping dozens of Ukrainian children

Clanton

Scenes from the opening of the Blackwood Brothers exhibit in Clanton

Clanton

CCS providing free breakfast, lunch for all students for 2024-25 school year

Clanton

Clanton 6U All Stars win World Series in Albertville

Clanton

Connell presented key to Clanton, receives own day for MLF achievements

Business

Photos, results and more from the 2024 Chilton County Peach Festival recap

Maplesville

Relay Queens read to children at the Maplesville Public Library

Clanton

Exhibit held for 70th anniversary of Blackwood Brothers plane crash in Clanton

Clanton

Junior Deputy Academy returns to Chilton County

Clanton

Parole denied for Chilton County offender

Clanton

Vaith to serve as Alabama 4-H Ambassador