Home detention for SC cockfighting organizer

COLUMBIA - A judge has sentenced an 82-year-old man who organized hundreds of cockfights on his property to one year of home confinement, saying sending him to prison would be too costly.

The State newspaper of Columbia reports that Gene Jeffcoat of Swansea appeared in federal court Wednesday in a wheelchair. His Parkinson's disease, recent broken back and other health problems prompted the judge to sentence him to home detention with electronic monitoring and five years of probation.

More than 20,300 roosters died in cockfights held over 18 years on Jeffcoat's farm. He pleaded guilty earlier this year to running an unlawful animal fighting venture and operating an illegal gambling business.

Collins was one of several dozen people charged last year with cockfighting and gambling.

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