Pescadero cockfighting operation busted

March 9, 2009 3:30:27 PM PDT
San Mateo County sheriff's deputies broke up a cockfighting operation in Pescadero over the weekend, seizing about 150 roosters and arresting the owner of the property, a sheriff's office spokesman said.

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Authorities were called to the Cabrillo Highway property of Bradford Mark Magpiong, 53, on Saturday evening, where they found about 40 men standing around a makeshift arena, according to sheriff's Lt. Ray Lunny.

About 50 fighting birds were found inside parked vehicles and wooden crates hidden in the wooded area, while another 100 birds, owned by Magpiong, were found in cages on the property, Lunny said.

Also found were fighting spurs, syringes and antiseptic purportedly for use on the birds.

The Peninsula Humane Society euthanized 97 of the birds, and Magpiong was booked into San Mateo County Jail on 97 counts of cockfighting, a misdemeanor.

Humane Society spokesman Scott Delucchi said Magpiong surrendered the birds for euthanasia because that type of bird generally can't be adopted and placed into new homes.

Delucchi said the Humane Society investigates about one or two cockfighting cases yearly in San Mateo County, typically in rural areas without close neighbors.

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