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1 arrested in alleged rooster fighting ring | News

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1 arrested in alleged rooster fighting ring

Hundreds of roosters, allegedly used for a rooster fighting operation, were found Sunday near a Modesto home. It's one of the largest cockfighting operations in Stanislaus County.

Initial calls to police reported possible dog fighting at a home along Grimes Avenue. Stanislaus County Sheriff's Deputies instead found about 300 roosters, and around 50 dead birds near the home.

Several men ran when deputies pulled up to the home, but 20 men were initially detained for questioning. The man who lives at the home, 37-year-old Efrain Marcucci, was arrested for animal cruelty.

Deputies found an enclosed pen where they allege rooster fights happened in the back yard. Deputies also found metal fighting spurs and bloodied birds.

"They were dead birds in cages that were beat up," Christine Morrissey with the Harvest Humane  Animal Sanctuary said. "It truly is a blood sport in the name of profit. Cockfighting is a primitive blood sport. It's illegal in California, but it continues to persist in rural and urban areas."

Neighbors are  just relieved that deputies and animal control could put an end to such violence in their street.

"We knew something was going on," Karen Keathley said. "I'm glad they cut it off."

Animal control officers took custody of the birds. Sunday evening, the director of Stanislaus Animal Services said the fighting roosters will be euthanized because they are considered to be illegal birds used in an illegal activity.

If you have any tips, you can leave an anonymous tip by calling Crime Stoppers at (209) 521-4636. Tipsters can also e-mail tips at http://www.modestopolice.com/CrimeStoppers, or text them to CRIMES (274637) by typing "Tip704" plus the message and be eligible for a cash reward.

Below is a look at other criminals arrested in northern California.


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