Five men were arrested and more than 60 birds were rescued in an illegal-fighting ring in the Oxnard area, Ventura County Sheriff’s Office officials announced Thursday.
The ring was busted on March 31 when a resident in the Nyeland Acres community of Oxnard alerted authorities of rooster fights at a home in the 3500 block of Orange Drive. The caller said multiple vehicles had gotten to the area and were removing cages from the vehicles, officials said in a news release.
Responding deputies arrived and took the men into custody. They were identified as Keni Medina, 37, Peter Robledo, 30, Edgar Martinez, 24, Trinidad Gonzales, 40, and Rafael Beltran, 56.
They were eventually booked on suspicion of possession of fighting birds, possession of slashers, being a spectator of an animal fight and animal fighting.
Investigators found fighting roosters, hens and baby chicks locked in “makeshift cages” and four dead fighting roosters that had injuries consistent with cock fighting, authorities said.
More than 40 sharp blades, boxing gloves, a scale used to weigh the birds, bottles of animal vitamins, curing agents and other items used in the illegal fighting of birds were also found.
Ventura County Animal Services officials also responded to the scene to assist in the recovery of the birds.