Thirty people were cited and nearly $14,000 in cash confiscated Sunday after deputies raided a cockfighting ring in Fallbrook, the San Diego County Sheriff's Department said.
An anonymous tip lead deputies to a large cockfighting arena hidden within an avocado grove on De Luz Road.
When deputies showed up Sunday morning, they detained dozens of people and about 100 others took off into the grove on foot.
Investigators found nearly 300 roosters on the property. At least one bird was found dead. About 200 of those birds were subsequently euthanized, and 45 that were found in carriers will be cared for at animal shelters pending a trial in the case.
Video released by deputies show an elaborate set up with rows of caged roosters. The organizers were also selling food and alcohol to the spectators and gamblers, said deputies.
"It's not just cockfighting that's barbaric enough but then there's people betting on the outcome," said Daniel DeSousa of the county's Department of Animal Services. "People call it a sport. Sport is football, soccer, baseball, not when someone ends up dying in a ring."
Deputies cited 30 people with misdemeanors but also seized cell phones and blackberries. As investigators go through the evidence, they say more arrests and felony charges are possible.