San Bernardino County authorities arrested dozens of people over the weekend in connection with a cockfighting operation, seizing nearly 100 roosters and thousands of dollars in cash.
County sheriff’s deputies descended on the semi-rural compound near Victorville after someone phoned in a tip that the private residence was being used for cockfighting.
Over 300 people were inside the barn when deputies entered and broke up a cockfight in progress. Most of the spectators scattered, including the property owner and alleged event organizer, Fernando Hernandez.
Forty-seven people were arrested, including some suspects from as far away as Sylmar, Lancaster and Oxnard.
Dead roosters dotted the arena, and about 92 live birds were seized, plus more than $21,000 in cash that was allegedly being used for gambling on the fights. The suspects face a range of felony charges, including animal cruelty.
The San Bernardino County district attorney's office says it’s prosecuted more than three dozen cockfighting cases over the past year.