Federal authorities raided a cock-fighting ring in southwestern Detroit on Saturday and ended up arresting at least 50 people in violation of American immigration laws.
There were about 86 people in the building total. More than half of them ended up being illegal immigrants, now being handled by the ICE.
“We made approximately 50 administrative arrests for individuals who were in violation of immigration law,” said Khaalid Walls, a spokesman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. “And those individuals will be detained in ICE custody pending removal proceedings.”
The bust, led by homeland security, involved over 140 officers raiding an abandoned building. The investigation was pending for some time, and law enforcement expected to deal with a high number of illegals.
Authorities raided a building in southwest Detroit on Saturday as part of an investigation into cockfighting and illegal gambling.
There were 86 people inside the abandoned building in the 1200 block of Green, near Springwells and I-75, when multiple agencies executed a search warrant around 1 p.m, said Khaalid Walls, a spokesman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
“We made approximately 50 administrative arrests for individuals who were in violation of immigration law,” he said. “And those individuals will be detained in ICE custody pending removal proceedings.”
About 140 federal, state and local law enforcement officials descended on the area as part of the ongoing criminal investigation that has spanned several months, Walls said. When officials arrived, there were more than 100 birds at the location.
Authorities made one criminal arrest, Walls said, adding the search warrant remains under seal. Charges were pending Sunday morning.
The raid was led by Homeland Security Investigations, which is a part of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Some of the other agencies involved include U.S. Border Patrol, U.S. Department of Agriculture and Trenton and Detroit police departments.
Walls said the the community was relieved to see the operation come to an end.
“We had information that this was nuisance,” he said.