SANTA MARIA (   —  Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Deputies — aided by Santa Maria Police and CHP officers — busted an upscale cockfighting operation Sunday morning in Santa Maria.

Officials were dispatched around 10:45 a.m. to a farm property in the 3500 block of Telephone Road.

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When law enforcement arrived, they said they observed a large number of vehicles and between 40-50 people standing under a large plastic covering standing around a ring.

(credit: Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Dept)

(credit: Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Dept)

Officials said the people scattered and many attempted to flee on foot.

Eleven of the people were detained, officials said.

The detained were charged with participating in an illegal cockfight and for resisting or delaying a peace officer. Several of those detained were also cited for possession of cockfighting paraphernalia.

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Deputies searched the property and allegedly located six dead roosters, 15-20 live roosters in cages and two injured roosters who had just been involved in a cockfight.

Santa Barbara County Animal Services responded and took possession of all of the animals. The two injured roosters will be euthanized.

Sheriff’s deputies also discovered cockfighting blades, suture kits, betting slips, a scale and other items related to gambling.

The interrupted cockfight was a result of an anonymous tip to the Sheriff’s Office and the investigative work done by our Rural Crimes Detective John McCarthy who was able to determine where and when the fight was taking place. Detective McCarthy said he is very appreciative to the citizen who provided the tip. He said, “Because of this anonymous tip we were able to stop this horrific cruelty to animals and apprehend some of those responsible.”

The investigation is on-going.

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Detectives said the cockfight was part of a tournament that attracted not only locals but participants from Los Angeles County and San Luis Obispo County. Some of the bets were up to $12,000, officials said.