two charged with illegal cockfighting in violation of animal protection law in Bakersfield | USAO-EDCA
FRESNO, Calif. — Today, a federal grand jury indicted Jorge Calderon-Campos, 41, and Horacio Ortega-Martinez, 35, both Mexican nationals residing in Bakersfield, in separate indictments for unlawful possession of Animals for an Animal Fighting Company, US Attorney Phillip A. Talbert Announced.
According to court documents, Calderon-Campos and Ortega-Martinez communicated frequently throughout February 2022 about illegal cockfighting events, including an event Calderon-Campos attended on February 12 in which 15 roosters fought to win a $5,000 scholarship. On April 26, 2022, multiple law enforcement agencies served a search warrant at Ortega-Martinez’s residence and discovered approximately 250 roosters, approximately 250 “goofs” (sharp steel blades attached to bird’s feet), training mitts commonly used for training and fighting roosters, and various antibiotics, vitamins and supplements commonly used for breeding and training roosters for fighting.
Calderon-Campos and Ortega-Martinez were arrested on April 26, 2022, along with six other Kern County residents who were also charged with various drug trafficking offenses in a separate indictment issued today.
This case is the result of an investigation by Homeland Security Investigations, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Kern County Sheriff’s Office, the Kern County High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, the US Marshals Service, the US Customs and Border Protection, Bakersfield Police Department, Kern County Probation Department, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, US Secret Service, US Department of Agriculture Office of Inspector General, and California Highway Patrol. Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher D. Baker is prosecuting the case.
If convicted, Calderon-Campos and Ortega-Martinez face a maximum legal sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Any sentence, however, would be determined at the discretion of the court after considering all applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which consider a number of variables. Accusations are only allegations; defendants are presumed innocent until and unless their guilt is proven beyond a reasonable doubt.