Lake County man charged with over 100 counts of animal cruelty

LAKE COUNTY, Fla. — The Lake County Sheriff’s Office said a 53-year-old man has been charged with over 100 felony counts of animal cruelty.


The sheriff’s office said Heinrich Karlos Gonzalez Muller is charged with 48 counts of animal cruelty and 73 counts of animal fighting and baiting.

They determined Muller was the property owner where an animal fight took place on April 27 in Eustis.

Deputies said Muller is accused of building the facility for the ring and allowing the cockfight on his property.

According to the affidavit, Deputy Claxton and Deputy Barnes responded to a 911 call at 38518 Ilex Trail.

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When they arrived at the property, deputies could not find who made the call.

As they continued to walk around the back, around 30 to 50 Hispanic men saw them and started to run to their cars.

Deputies said they were outnumbered but conducted traffic stops to collect information on individuals leaving the area.

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Law enforcement returned to the property and found several abandoned cars, 13 live chickens, at least ten dead chickens in a hole, a live goat, a small shooting range, an animal fighting ring with a scoreboard hanging on a post, and two enclosed trailers that the deputies could hear live roosters crowing.

Deputy Barnes said they called for animal control because they suspected the individuals had an established cockfighting ring.

The Animal Cruelty Investigator arrived at the scene and found multiple wire-type cages with roosters in some of them.

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The investigator also discovered a building that appeared to have been built for animal fighting, and a circular hole was dug into the ground nearby with multiple dead roosters.

During a search warrant, deputies said they found 72 items for cockfighting and 40 alive roosters, which were taken to the Lake County Animal Shelter.

The investigators asked Muller if he knew what happened on April 27, and he told them that “someone asked him to use his property for a party.”

He said he built the building for his boat and did not know who was on his property that day.

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Beatriz Oliveira, WFTV.com

Beatriz Oliveira is a Content Creator for WFTV.com.

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