Five people were arrested in Nipomo on Wednesday in connection with what Sheriff's Department officials are saying was a massive cockfighting operation that involved more than 500 fighting birds.
Sheriff's investigators, assisted by the Humane Society, found between 500 and 800 fighting birds Wednesday evening at a large property at 650 and 696 Joshua St.
Humane Society and Sheriff's Department officials reportedly found injured birds, cockfighting tools, drugs and weapons on the property. Investigators also collected Mexican magazines with birds listed for sale for as much as $700, a Humane Society official said.
Eric Sakach, chief response officer of the Humane Society, said it was one of the largest such operations he has seen.
"I've seen another one of 6,000 birds in San Diego," Sakach said, "but this is definitely up there with one of California's biggest seizures."
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