Crime

Fifth person accused of operating large cockfighting ring in Floyd County is convicted

The last of five people charged with operating a large cockfighting ring in Floyd County has been convicted, according to a news release from U.S. Attorney Timothy Heaphy in Virginia.

At the close of a three-day trial, jurors deliberated just 40 minutes before convicting Sonya K. Stumbo, 51, of Floyd County on 11 charges, Heaphy's office said in a news release issued Wednesday.

Stumbo was convicted on one count of conspiring to run an illegal gambling and cockfighting operation; five counts of taking part in transporting fighting roosters from Virginia to Floyd County; and five counts of being involved in transporting bird-fighting knives across the state line, according to the release.

People who handle fighting roosters attach the knives, called gaffs, to their legs so they can slash other birds.

Stumbo is to be sentenced in October. She faces up to 55 years in prison, but her term will likely be less under advisory guidelines.

Stumbo's husband, Walter Dale Stumbo, and her son, Joshua Stumbo, pleaded guilty earlier, along with Wesley Dean Robinson and his son Jonathan Robinson, Virginia residents who transported fighting roosters' gaffs across the state line to the cockfighting venue in McDowell.

They have not been sentenced.

The five took part in a business called the Big Blue Sportsmen's Club.

A federal agent described it as one of the most lucrative cockfighting venues in the nation, with arena-style seating, a restaurant, and spectators and bird handlers from more than 10 states.

Investigators seized more than $100,000 from the Stumbos' home when they raided the club in early May, according to the release.

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