350 Birds Seized by Monterey County Authorities in Connection With Alleged Illegal Cockfighting Operations

Deputies of the Monterey County Sheriff’s Office confiscated around 350 birds in an alleged illegal cockfighting operation in Salinas. The deputies received a tip about an underground cockfight activity on the 600 block of San Juan Grande Road at around 7:45 a.m., serving a search warrant on the property after.

The deputies enlisted the assistance of the Monterey County SPCA and code enforcement to round up evidence commonly associated with breeding and training roosters for cockfighting.

Around 350 roosters, hens, and chicks were seized. The deputies have since turned the birds over to the SPCA and are scheduled to be euthanized.

Aside from the birds, deputies also found numerous code enforcement violations were committed at the property. A 73-year-old man by the name of Jose Francisco Gaitan was contacted by the deputies but was not arrested. The Sheriff’s Office, however, has forwarded a request for charges to the Monterey Co. District Attorney’s Office.

Cockfighting is illegal in California and is a federal crime that can be prosecuted under the United States Animal Welfare Act.