Lawyer blames Mexican cartel in Elko drug, cockfight case

Cock fighting graphic
Cock fighting graphic(Associated Press)
Published: Jan. 22, 2021 at 9:33 PM PST
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ELKO, Nev. - A defense lawyer says two northeast Nevada men accused of drug-trafficking and conducting illegal cockfights feared for their lives and were only taking orders from higher-ups a Mexican cartel.

The trial in Elko County District Court is expected to wrap up next week. Hector Hugo Ramirez-De La Torre and Jorge Ruiz were arrested in a drug raid in March 2019.

Law officers confiscated firearms, more than eight pounds of methamphetamine, cockfighting paraphernalia and $13,000.

They found more than 500 chickens and ended up euthanizing nearly 250 roosters.

Defense attorney Gary Woodland says Ramirez-De La Torre feared he’d be killed if he didn’t follow the cartel’s orders.

(For copyright information, check with the distributor of this item, Elko Daily Free Press.)