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Marijuana grow house, cockfighting ring busted in El Mirage

EL MIRAGE, Calif. (VVNG.com) A search warrant resulted in the arrest of three El Mirage residents along with the discovery of 1,900 marijuana plants and 200 fighting roosters.

On Friday, July 14, 2017, at 7:00 am, investigators from the Sheriff’s Marijuana Enforcement Team served a search warrant at 20001 Silver Rock Road, a large parcel in the community of El Mirage.

During the search, investigators found an illegal outdoor marijuana grow and 200 roosters being trained/maintained for illegal cockfighting.

Officials say the marijuana grow was there for several months, and investigators became aware of it after receiving information about it from the public.

Jesus Lopez, 78, Alfonso Botello, 33, and Pedro Tirado, 62, were present during the service of the search warrant and were detained by deputies without incident.

The Sheriff’s Rural Crimes Task Force and San Bernardino County Animal Control officers will be investigating these crimes. Several of the birds were collected and will be tested for diseases by the California Department of Food and Agriculture.

The property, including the grow site, was littered with trash and had several unpermitted structures serving as greenhouses where the marijuana plants were being grown. The County of San Bernardino has an ordinance prohibiting Commercial Cannabis Activity which includes outdoor marijuana cultivations. The Sheriff’s Gangs/Narcotics Division will continue to enforce California marijuana laws as well as the San Bernardino County Ordinances regarding marijuana cultivation and distribution. Persons found to be violating state marijuana laws and/or county ordinances are subject to fines, prosecution and seizure of property.

All three suspects were booked at the High Desert Detention Center for Cultivation of Marijuana. Additional charges of Possession of Fighting Birds will be sought against Lopez. All criminal charges against the suspects both suspects will be reviewed by The San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office.

Anyone with information regarding this investigation is 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 you may leave information on the We-Tip Hotline at www.wetip.com.

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