Nearly 2,000 pot plants, 200 fighting roosters seized at SoCal desert property

- Authorities arrested three people after finding more than 1,900 marijuana plants and 200 fighting roosters in a raid Friday at a desert property in San Bernardino County.

Sheriff's deputies made the discoveries while serving a search warrant in the 20001 block of Silver Rock Road in El Mirage, according to a press release by the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department.

Officials said the roosters were being trained for illegal cockfighting, and several of the birds were being tested for diseases by the California Department of Food and Agriculture.

The pot plants were part of a large outdoor grow operation including several greenhouses, officials said. Investigators became aware of it after receiving information about it from the public.  

Jesus Lopez, 78, Pedro Tirado, 62, and Alfonso Botello, 22, all of El Mirage, were arrested at the scene.

The men could face charges related to the marijuana. Officials plan to seek charges against Lopez related to the cockfighting birds.

Anyone with information regarding the investigation was urged to contact the Sheriff’s Gangs / Narcotics Division at (909) 387-8400 or the Sheriff’s Rural Crime Task Force at (760) 248-6686. Callers wishing to remain anonymous are urged to call the We-tip Hotline at 1-800-78-CRIME (27463) or by leaving information at www.wetip.com.

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