Man convicted of cockfighting will serve some jail time, judge orders

EVERETT — An east Snohomish County man deserved jail time for running a cockfighting arena on his property near Gold Bar, a Snohomish County Superior Court judge decided Thursday.

Prosecutors and defense attorneys for Juan Carlos Gomez Fierros had recommended community-service hours and possible work release.

Gomez Fierros, 32, and his wife recently lost a child, and she needs him at home to provide financial support and help care for the other children, attorneys said in court. He had no criminal history before police raided his property in 2011. He later was convicted of animal fighting, a felony under state law.

Judge Bruce Weiss said the fact that Gomez Fierros cares for small children made his crimes even more concerning because children are defenseless, just like the animals he harmed.

Gomez Fierros also had completed fewer than 40 community service hours so far in his case.

He spoke briefly during the hearing, telling the judge that if he was assigned community service instead of time behind bars, “I will not fail.”

“This was a pretty big operation you had running from your house,” Weiss said. “You have young children in the house, which is concerning to me.”

Weiss also called Gomez Fierros’ cockfighting operation a “horrendous situation.” Seventeen people were arrested in the raid, which aimed to stop rooster death matches on the property.

The judge sentenced him to serve 35 days, including five days that must be spent in the jail. Gomez Fierros could spend 30 of those days on electronic home-monitoring or on work release if he qualifies, Weiss said.

Weiss ordered that Gomez Fierros be taken into custody as the hearing drew to a close.

Rikki King: 425-339-3449; rking@heraldnet.com.

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