Ronnie Bennett and Kyle Simpson of Harlan County KY

One of SHARK’s first major exposés in the world of cockfighting was of a father and son cockfighting operation in Harlan County, KY. 
 

The father, Ronnie Bennet, was a Captain at the Harlan County Detention Center. His son, Kyle Simpson, was a Corrections Officer at the same center.  We scoured both men’s Facebook pages, which were public, and found a trove of evidence linking them to cockfighting.  We should note that it was apparently no secret in the detention center about Mr. Bennett’s illegal cockfighting, meaning that other law enforcement officers were aware and yet did nothing to stop the criminal activity.

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Chilton County, AL Sheriff John Shearon

In August, 2020, SHARK found out about a major pro-cockfighting party to be held at Brent Easterling’s rooster farm in Verbena, AL. As this was in the middle of a raging pandemic, and lockdown orders were in place, we called on Chilton County Sheriff John Shearon to shut the event down. In his email response to SHARK Sheriff Shearon stated: 

"Chicken fighting is a violation in Alabama that carries a fine of $50.00 if convicted.  I attached the state code at the bottom so you could see it.  It is hard spending our Citizen’s Tax Dollars on something that is only a violation.”

Ex-Laurel County KY Sheriff's Deputy Jacklyn Johnson

In 2020, SHARK became aware of Jacklyn Johnson, who was at the time a bailiff with the Laurel County Sheriff’s Department. Johnson was, and presumably still is a self-proclaimed cockfighter who works at a notorious cockfighting pit in KY called “CJ’s Pit.” CJ’s is in Laurel County.

 

For about a year, SHARK publicly exposed bailiff Jacklyn Johnson’s involvement in illegal cockfighting. We repeatedly reached out to Laurel County Sheriff John Root, who never responded.

 

On the night of Saturday, July 10, 2021, SHARK investigators alerted the Laurel County Sheriff and the Kentucky State Police about an illegal cockfight at the Bald Rock pit. The Laurel County Sheriff refused to respond. The State Police, however, did respond. As a result, ten people were cited, and one of those was Jacklyn Johnson.

 

Johnson was subsequently separated from the sheriff’s office, no thanks whatsoever to Sheriff Root. Is it any wonder why the Laurel County Sheriff never shuts down Laurel County cockfighting operations, when one of their own worked at the illegal fighting pits?

 
 

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Clay County Sheriff Patrick Robinson

In the cesspool of corruption that is Kentucky’s law enforcement community, there appears to be no agency that is interested in standing up to the cockfighting mafia. With a bar so low to begin with, you might think it would be hard to be worse than average. But Clay County Sheriff Patrick Robinson has found a way.

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