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The bust of an alleged cockfighting ring in the South Bay is being called the largest in San Diego County history, and possibly the country, by the District Attorney’s Office.

Courtesy: San Diego District Attorney

Here’s what District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis had to say, according to the press release, about the raid, which netted more than 5,000 birds reared for fighting:

“This multi-agency effort has effectively shut down an extensive illegal cockfighting ring in the South Bay,” said DA Dumanis. “Dozens of individuals are now facing charges for exploiting these birds in the name of sport.”

And here’s some more details:

Eleven search warrants were issued, resulting in 50 individuals being charged with misdemeanors. Charges include cockfighting and the possession of cockfighting implements. Defendants face up to a year in jail for each charge, and a $5,000 fine. Additional felony charges are possible, including charges of animal cruelty. Some of the defendants are retired or active duty military. Fifty additional suspects are still being sought in connection with the operation.

Courtesy: San Diego District Attorney.

The largest of the illegal breeding and training operations was being conducted on a seven acre compound in Otay Mesa near the U.S.-Mexico border where some 4,400 birds were being housed. Individuals were seen using the birds in sparring matches and in training rounds of cockfighting. Many of the birds have had their combs and wattles cut off.

WILL CARLESS

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