JESUS LAGUNILLA

Jesus Lagunilla

WOODSTOCK — A grand jury indicted a Shenandoah County man last week on additional charges related to a suspected cock-fighting operation.

Jesus Garcia Lagunilla stands charged with one count of possessing or training an animal to fight, a Class 6 felony. The grand jury handed up direct indictments Wednesday charging Lagunilla, 59, of Edinburg, with 10 counts of possession, with the intent to use a device or substance meant to enhance an animal’s ability to fight or injure another — a Class 6 felony; and 10 counts of cruelty to animals — Class 1 misdemeanors.

Authorities arrested Lagunilla on Nov. 20 and charged him initially with the possession of an animal for fighting and animal cruelty. They also charged Lagunilla with possession of methamphetamine after a search of his property revealed a suspected drug-making laboratory.

Lagunilla remains free on bond since his release from Rappahannock-Shenandoah-Warren Regional Jail on Dec. 14.

Deputies with the Shenandoah County Sheriff’s Office arrested Lagunilla on Nov. 20 and seized 60 roosters from the defendant’s home west of Edinburg. The Sheriff’s Office worked with agents of the Virginia Animal Fighting Task Force on the investigation.

Attorney John O’Neill Castro represents Lagunilla. Judge Dennis L. Hupp granted a motion by Commonwealth’s Attorney Amanda Wiseley to appoint a special prosecutor to oversee the case. Wiseley recommended Hupp appoint K. Michelle Welch, a senior assistant prosecutor who leads the animal law unit of the Virginia Attorney General’s Office.

Contact Alex Bridges at abridges@nvdaily.com