ELKO – One of three men arrested in March for alleged drug trafficking and animal abuse was bound over to Elko District Court this week on 22 charges.
Eduardo Ruiz, 33, of Osino was arrested March 19 along with homeowner Jorge Landeros Ruiz and Hector H. Ramirez-de la Torre after Elko’s Combined Narcotics Task Force led a raid in which more than eight pounds of methamphetamine were confiscated, along with roosters, cockfighting paraphernalia, and hundreds of chickens.
Eduardo Ruiz’s charges include felony drug trafficking, prohibited person possessing a firearm, and 10 counts of willfully or maliciously torturing, maiming, mutilating or killing an animal kept for companionship or pleasure, as well as 10 counts of involvement in fights between animals.
The raid was conducted after members of the narcotics task force reportedly made three large purchases of meth from Ramirez-de la Torre earlier in the month. When they served a search warrant at Jorge Ruiz’s residence, they reported finding half a pound of methamphetamine and a stolen firearm in Ramirez-de la Torre’s trailer on the property.
A container found between two chicken coops on the property contained several bags that tested positive for meth and cocaine.
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Narcotics unit detectives, as well as personnel from the Elko Police Department and Elko County Sheriff’s Office, remained on the scene for 10 days and nights conducting extensive searches and investigations regarding the animals, resulting in the location of additional illegal drugs and other evidence. Detectives also provided food, water, and veterinary care for the animals.
In total, 8.8 pounds of methamphetamine, $13,000 in U.S. currency and eight firearms were confiscated. At least one of the firearms had been reported as stolen. Additionally, “several hundred” items of evidence related to cockfighting were recovered from the property.
More than 500 chickens were located on the property, as well as several incubators. With the assistance of the Nevada Department of Agriculture and the Elko County Sheriff’s Office Animal Control, 248 roosters were identified as having been abused and/or treated cruelly. Under a court order, the roosters were euthanized by a veterinarian.
A total of nine dogs and four horses were surrendered to Animal Control, with one horse reportedly in such poor condition that it had to be euthanized.
Eduardo Ruiz has been held in Elko County Jail on $315,000 bail since his arrest. He was bound over to district court June 5 by Justice of the Peace Elias Goicoechea.