Three men were arrested and booked on suspicion of animal cruelty after sheriff's deputies raided the site of a cockfight in Oasis, authorities said Monday.
The deputies, responding to a report of a cockfight on Avenue 86 east of the Highway 86 Expressway, arrived at the location at 8:26 a.m. Sunday, said Riverside County sheriff's Sgt. Robert Bishop.
"Deputies immediately observed over 100 subjects fleeing the area on foot and inside vehicles," Bishop said. "Three suspects were immediately apprehended."
Deputies aided by U.S. Border Patrol agents and a California Highway Patrol airplane crew searched for more suspects, but none were nabbed, Bishop said.
Deputies and identification technicians processing the scene for evidence found more than 60 roosters inside cages, cardboard boxes or laying in the dirt, he said. They called in Riverside County Animal Control officers to attend to the animals.
Joseph Furtado, 54, of Blythe, Jonathon Zamudio, 18, of Mecca, and Eusebio Silva, 27, of North Shore, were booked into the Indio Larson Justice Center on suspicion of animal cruelty, Bishop said. Bail was set at $2,500, according to the sheriff's department's jail records, and all three men were released later in the day, with their next court appearance set for June 10.
Anyone with information about the incident or any other cases of cockfighting was urged to call the sheriff's Thermal Station at (760) 863-8990.