Sheriff's Deputies Raid Cockfight in Progress and Cite 11 People Thanks to Anonymous Tip
Santa Maria - November 27th, 2016
At approximately 10:45 a.m. today, November 27, 2016, Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s deputies assisted by officers from the Santa Maria Police Department and California Highway Patrol raided a cockfight in progress at a farm property located in the 3500 block of Telephone Road east of Santa Maria. When law enforcement arrived, they located a large number of vehicles and observed 40 to 50 people under a plastic covering gathered around a 10 by 15-foot ring engaged in an active cockfight. When the crowd of people saw the deputies and officers, they scattered and attempted to flee the scene on foot. Eleven people were apprehended and cited for being spectators at a cockfight and for resisting or delaying a peace officer. Several of those detained were also cited for possession of cockfighting paraphernalia.
When deputies searched the property, they located six dead roosters, 15 to 20 live roosters in cages and two injured roosters who had just been involved in the cockfight. Santa Barbara County Animal Services responded and took possession of all of the animals. The two injured roosters will be euthanized. Sheriff’s deputies also discovered cockfighting blades, suture kits, betting slips, a scale and other items related to gambling.
The interrupted cockfight was a result of an anonymous tip to the Sheriff’s Office and the investigative work done by our Rural Crimes Detective John McCarthy who was able to determine where and when the fight was taking place. Detective McCarthy said he is very appreciative to the citizen who provided the tip. He said, “Because of this anonymous tip we were able to stop this horrific cruelty to animals and apprehend some of those responsible.”
The investigation is on-going but so far has revealed that the cockfight was a tournament that attracted not only locals but was attended by participants from Los Angeles County and San Luis Obispo County. Some of the bets were up to $12,000 dollars.
The incident is a reminder that cockfighting is occurring in our county and citizens are encouraged to report information related to this illegal activity to law enforcement right away. To leave an anonymous tip call 805-681-4171 or go to our website at www.sbsheriff.org.
For Media Inquires Contact PIO Kelly Hoover
Business Hours: (805) 681-4100