HOMER GLEN, Ill. (STMW) – A pair of Joliet men face up to three years in prison after Will County prosecutors charged them with grooming many roosters for cockfighting in Homer Glen.

Ramiro Marin, 50, and Gerardo Ortiz, 32, are charged with illegally using animals in entertainment and conspiracy to commit animal torture. They appeared via video Wednesday in front of Circuit Court Judge Marzell Richardson, who set their bail at $15,000 each.

Marin, who asked for a public defender, seemed to have trouble understanding the judge through the video hook-up. Chuck Bretz, the Joliet defense attorney representing Ortiz, declined to comment after his client’s hearing, but he told the judge Ortiz has a wife and four young children. He’s lived in the Joliet area for 15 years, Bretz said, and jail records show he’s a musician.

Each man appeared to have family in the courtroom, but they chose not to speak to a reporter.

Will County Animal Control on Tuesday confiscated 75 roosters that seemed to be groomed for cockfighting at a farm at 14600 Bruce Road.

LeRoy Schild, the county’s animal control administrator, said he had to euthanize the animals because they’d been fed steroids.

Police found no evidence that the roosters had been forced to fight at the rural site, but Schild said the roosters’ claws and combs had been removed, suggesting they’d been groomed for fighting.

The remaining animals on the property — including hens, chicks, horses, goats and dogs — will be monitored by Will County Animal Control, Schild said. And Richardson told Marin and Ortiz they must surrender any roosters that haven’t already been confiscated to Schild’s department 24 hours after they bond out of jail. The men are expected back in court April 4.

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