The San Jacinto County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of animal cruelty at 100 Maxine Road in San Jacinto County. When the patrol sergeant and deputies arrived, they witnessed around 250 to 300 people watching and participating in a large-scale illegal cockfighting event.
The deputies detained 19 men while the remainder of the suspects ran into the surrounding woods. 100 vehicles were abandoned on the property.
The area had a large wooden permanent structure with a round wooden cockfighting arena, temporary wooden bleachers, lawn chair seating, a working kitchen, and a concession stand inside. Deputies found illegal gambling paraphernalia, as well as a board that documented various matches between birds. The board indicated that some 44 matches had already occurred earlier in the day.
Back-up deputies and investigators arrived to help the deputies already on the scene. Additional cockfighting paraphernalia such as gaffs, cages, steroids, and others, as well as numerous fighting roosters, were also discovered on the property. A total of 96 live roosters were seized.
Of the 19 arrested, 18 were charged with a misdemeanor observing cockfighting. One was charged with felony participating in cockfighting while one was charged with felony possession of a controlled substance (cocaine) of less than 1 gram. The investigation is currently ongoing.