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50 Arrested in Huge Raid of Illegal Cockfighting Network

Audio

Aired 4/19/09

(Photo: Materials seized by police. Alison St John / KPBS .)

50 people have been arrested in the largest raid on illegal cockfighting operations in San Diego history. KPBS reporter Alison St John has more.

More than 5,000 birds were discovered during the raid of a sprawling property near the Mexican border.

San Diego District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis says her office has filed 50 cases against cockfighting in the last six years, but this is the largest raid yet.

Dumanis : For years, this particular site has been a bird factory raising and training hundreds of roosters for illegal cockfighting, many of the birds had been maimed and tortured in the name of sport.

Dumanis says those arrested face jail time and a $5,000 fine if convicted.

This operation was run by Philippino Americans. Naval criminal investigators assisted in the raid and several of those arrested are members of the military.

Alison St John KPBS News.

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