CHEROKEE COUNTY, Texas (KETK) – 24 people were arrested and two minors were released to guardians on Sunday in Cherokee County in a cockfighting investigation, according to the sheriff’s office.

Officials said they received information about rooster fighting on CR 2405, and responded to the area where 26 people were detained and 88 birds were seized.

Photo courtesy of the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office.

22 people, of the 26 detained, were arrested for being a spectator at the rooster fight, according to officials, one was arrested for allowing the use of real estate for cockfighting and one person was arrested for felony evading with a car and unlawful carrying of a weapon.

According to the sheriff’s office, 30 cars were also towed.

Sheriff Brent Dickson told KETK News that several birds were dead when law enforcement arrived.

“There were several dead birds when we got there. Several pins and small coops they were being prepared to fight and some were staked out getting ready to fight as well, said Sheriff Brent Dickson.

Most of the people arrested were not from Cherokee County but from surrounding counties.

The birds are now being kept in individual cages at the Cherokee County Sheriff’s office.

“Right now is the time of the year they will start fighting birds when the birds are coming back into their feathers and this is fighting time,” said Dickson.

The county judge will decide what the next steps for the birds are.

“They can order them to be sent to testing for disease testing and they can sanction them out to sanctuaries or rescue them to sanctuaries or they can put them down for the health and safety of Cherokee County,” said Dickson.

Dickson said cockfighting is a state-wide problem and it brings more crime into the community.

“Cockfighting brings in drugs, guns, murders and everything else, illegal gambling and money laundering,” said Dickson. “We are going to continue to enforce it. We recommend they find someone where else to go if you do it here you will go to jail”