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2 arrested in rooster-fighting ring; 600 birds rescued in raid

Image

Steve Marcus

A Red Rock Search & Rescue volunteer carries birds to a Clark County Animal Control truck during a raid on two homes in the 4700 block of Stanley Avenue, near Nellis Boulevard and Owens Avenue, Wednesday, August 3, 2016. The raid was related to an illegal rooster-fighting operation, police said.

Published Wed, Aug 3, 2016 (5:24 p.m.)

Updated Wed, Aug 3, 2016 (3:55 p.m.)

Silvester Salgado

Silvester Salgado

Javier Salgado

Javier Salgado

Hundreds of birds were removed from an east valley house in cardboard boxes and steel cages by Metro Police officers and volunteers.

And they just kept coming.

Authorities estimated they rescued about 600 birds Wednesday in an illegal rooster-fighting investigation. Two men were arrested.

The men, Silvester Salgado Gayton, 46, and Javier Salgado, 44, were booked on one count each of own, train, promote, and sell an animal to fight, Metro booking logs show.

The search warrant was served in the 4700 block of Stanley Avenue, near Nellis Boulevard and Owens Avenue. A neighbor said investigators had been there for hours, but Metro did not provide many details on the investigation.

Once he heard about the raid, Nevada Sen. Mark Manendo showed up to the scene.

"This is huge," he said, noting that he hadn't heard of a local case involving so many birds.

Manendo — who in 2013 sponsored a bill that transformed animal cruelty from a gross misdemeanor to a felony — praised authorities: "This is your taxpayer dollars at work and this is a criminal element that needs to be stopped."

A neighbor who did not identify himself and whose second-story apartment patio overlooks the cages where the birds were held said he hadn't heard much noise except for minor crowing in the morning. He said he didn't interact with the man who lives in the house.

Metro officers and volunteers from Red Rock Search and Rescue boxed the birds, walked them from the back of the house where they were caged through the front of the spacious trimmed grass and gated patio, took notes and loaded them up into a trailer and animal control vehicle.

Sporadic crowing noises could be heard through the mostly quiet neighborhood.

Details on the arrests or charges the suspects face weren't immediately available Wednesday night.

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