“We got a call from a person saying there’s roosters crowing in the post office in Hazleton,” said Harvey, who charged Martinez. On the suspicion the birds were used for cockfighting, Harvey and another humane officer went to the post office to investigate, finding the birds were boxed and bound for Juncos, Puerto Rico.
Upon looking through the holes on the box, Harvey said humane officers could see their wattles, combs and spurs were cut, an obvious tell that they were used for fighting.
“It’s a dead giveaway,” he said. The comb is a fleshy growth or crest on the top of the head; a wattle is similar and hangs from various parts of the head or neck while spurs are at the legs.
As the SPCA investigated with assistance from the U.S. Postal Service, they traced the roosters to Martinez. Obtaining a search warrant on Dec. 11, the SPCA went to his home at 620 N. Wyoming St., with assistance from Hazleton police, court papers state. They heard crowing coming from the basement and following the sound found two adult fighting birds with wattles, spurs and combs cut, three chicks and 13 eggs, court papers state.