VAL VERDE, California — Authorities say they busted up a massive illegal cockfighting operation in California, seizing 7,000 fighting birds in what they say is the largest crackdown of its kind in U.S. history.
Officers with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s bloodsport crime team say they received a top about a property in Val Verde that was being used as a large scale training ground and storage facility for fighting birds.
Following a months-long investigation, officers raided the 80-acre property earlier this week, and seized thousands of birds as well as mobile fighting rings, deadly razor gaffs that area attached to a rooster’s feet as well as medications often used in cockfighting.
“This is, the experts say, the largest seizure of fighting birds ever in United States history,” said Capt. Jeff Perry. “Any kind of animal blood sport activity will not be tolerated in Los Angeles County.”
Investigators said some birds can sell for as high as $1,500, valuing the haul as high as $10.5 million. Several dead birds with wounds consistent with cockfighting were also found on the property.
No arrests were immediately made, Perry said, although several low-level members of the cockfighting outfit were detained and could later be charged. Other suspects are currently being identified, and the investigation is still ongoing.