ELKO – Two men involved in a drug bust that revealed a cockfighting operation at an Osino residence in March were bound over to district court Friday on 48 counts related to their arrests.
Hector Hugo Ramirez De La Torre and Jorge Landeros Ruiz face multiple charges that stemmed from a March 19 raid in which more than eight pounds of methamphetamine were confiscated along with roosters, cockfighting paraphernalia and hundreds of chickens.
In a preliminary hearing on Aug. 16, Justice of the Peace Elias Goicoechea ordered the two men to be bound over to Elko District Court. He also denied a motion to reduce bail to $50,000 for Jorge Ruiz, who remains in custody at the Elko County Jail on $350,000 bail.
Ramirez De La Torre is also being held on $1,130,000 bail.
Jorge Ruiz is charged with three felony drug offenses, including trafficking in a controlled substance more than 28 grams, trafficking in a controlled substance more than 14 grams but less than 28 grams, and opening or maintaining a place for sale, gift or use of a controlled substance.
Additionally, Ruiz is charged with 10 counts of willfully or maliciously torturing, maiming, mutilating or killing an animal kept for companionship or pleasure, a category “D” felony; and 10 counts of involvement in fights between animals, a gross misdemeanor.
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Ramirez De La Torre is charged with four felony counts of trafficking in a controlled substance more than 28 grams; one count of owning or possessing a firearm by a prohibited person; and 10 counts of willfully or maliciously torturing, maiming, mutilating or killing an animal kept for companionship or pleasure; and 10 counts of involvement in fights between animals.
Eduardo Ruiz, 33, of Osino was a third man arrested in the case. He was bound over by Goicoechea on June 5 on charges of felony drug trafficking and prohibited person possessing a firearm. He also faces 10 counts of willfully or maliciously torturing, maiming, mutilating or killing an animal kept for companionship or pleasure and 10 counts of involvement in fights between animals.
An arraignment hearing for Eduardo Ruiz is scheduled in September. He is still in custody.
The men were arrested March 19 at a residence in Osino owned by Jorge Ruiz following an investigation by Elko’s Combined Narcotics Unit detectives.
The bust also led to the discovery of more than 500 chickens, nine dogs and four horses on the property, prompting further investigation by the Nevada Department of Agriculture and the Elko County Sheriff’s Office Animal Control. Eventually, 248 roosters were euthanized under a court order. A horse that was reportedly in poor condition was also put down.
According to court documents, the comb and/or wattle was removed from the rooster to cause him to fight and thereby suffer injury. Sheriff’s deputies also discovered several hundred chickens on the property, with deceased chickens still in their cages.
After the arrest, personnel from the Elko Police Department and the Elko County Sheriff’s Department conducted an extensive search of the property, confiscating 8.8 pounds of methamphetamine, $13,000 in U.S. currency and eight firearms, one of which was reportedly stolen. They also fed, watered and provided veterinary care to the animals on the scene until they were removed to other facilities.
A court date for Ramirez De La Torre and Jorge Ruiz in Elko District Court is pending.