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Two charged federally in Bakersfield animal-fighting venture

Slide Court Report

Two Mexican nationals living in Bakersfield were charged by a grand jury Thursday in separate indictments in conjunction with an animal-fighting venture, according to Department of Justice officials.

Jorge Calderon-Campos, 41, and Horacio Ortega-Martinez, 35, were charged with unlawful possession of animals for an animal-fighting venture.

Calderon-Campos and Ortega-Martinez communicated frequently throughout February 2022 about illegal cockfighting events, including an event Calderon-Campos attended on Feb. 12 at which 15 roosters fought to win a $5,000 purse, according to court documents.

On April 26, 2022, numerous law enforcement agencies served a search warrant at Ortega-Martinez’s residence and discovered approximately 250 roosters, approximately 250 “gaffs” (razor-sharp steel blades that are tied to the birds’ legs), training mitts commonly used for training and fighting roosters, and miscellaneous antibiotics, vitamins and supplements that are commonly used for breeding and training roosters for fighting.

Calderon-Campos and Ortega-Martinez were arrested April 26, along with six other Kern County residents who were also charged with various drug-trafficking offenses in a separate indictment.

If convicted, Calderon-Campos and Ortega-Martinez face a statutory maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

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