A high school teacher has been arrested on charges he ran a cockfighting farm in the Bronx.
Federal prosecutors said Tuesday that Hector Cruz was charged with selling, possessing, and transporting for the purpose of participating in an animal fight.
Cruz is an English as a Second Language teacher at P.S. 211 in the Bronx. Prosecutors say he has maintained the backyard rooster farm since 2012. They say he trained and sold the fighting birds to individuals across the country for as much as $600 per bird.
Cruz told the Daily News the allegations were "just trash talk" and said he was not involved in anything.
If convicted, Cruz faces up to five years in a federal prison.
Cockfighting is an activity in which knives or other sharp instruments are attached to the legs of roosters for purposes of fighting each other. The fights end when one rooster is dead or refuses to continue to fight, according to authorities. If not killed during the fight, the losing rooster is typically killed afterwards.