NORCO – Sheriff’s deputies arrest seven after discovering a working cockfighting facility.
Sheriff’s deputies from the Norco office of the Jurupa Valley Sheriff’s station responded to an anonymous call of animal cruelty on November 24, 2013. At about 9:58 a.m. deputies arrived at a residence located in the 1000 block of Sixth Street in Norco and began searching the property.
Upon investigation, deputies were able to gather evidence consistent with animal cruelty/cockfighting. Deputies located over 100 live roosters. Another 8 deceased roosters were discovered on the property, displaying injuries consistent with cockfighting. Norco Animal Control responded to the scene and assisted.
Seven adult males were detained and arrested. Manuel Sanchez, 44-year-old resident of Norco was arrested for felony cruelty to animals and booked into Robert Presley Detention Center. Six other individuals were cited and released.
- Jacob Tapia, 32-year-old resident of Ontario was arrested for cockfighting.
- Jovani Salvatierra, 18-year-old resident of Victorville was arrested for cockfighting.
- Noel Ramirez, 25-year-old resident of Perris was arrested for cockfighting.
- Arturo Leopoldo, 55-year-old resident of La Puente was arrested for cockfighting.
- Angel Ramirez, 57-year-old resident of Perris was arrested for cockfighting.
- Jose Quezada, 66-year-old resident of Riverside was arrested for cockfighting.
In June of last year, Gov. Jerry Brown signed SB1145 by Hemet Republican Sen. Bill Emmerson which doubled the find for staging a cockfight, raising it from a maximum of $5,000 to $10,000. This bill also increased the fines for other animal fighting convictions including pitting dogs or bears against one another.
Spectators can also find themselves in jail for as many as six months and fined a maximum of $5,000. First-offenders face a misdemeanor, although advocates of eliminating animal fights as sport pushed for the offense to be raised to a felony charge. Efforts to reduce prison costs led supporters of the bill to settle for increased fines rather than penalties.
The investigation is ongoing and authorities are asking anyone with information about this incident to contact Deputy Cynthia Lewis at the Jurupa Valley Station/Norco Office at 951-955-2600.
Pres Enterprise: Seven men busted in cockfighting ring