Crime - Sacto 911

Cockfighting ring operator ordered to pay Yolo County

Yolo County has been awarded much of the restitution it sought after it housed birds confiscated in a cockfighting case.

The District Attorney’s Office announced that Yolo County Superior Court Judge Daniel Maguire on Friday awarded $75,135 to the county in restitution following convictions in an illegal cockfighting operation.

A Yolo County jury in January convicted Lorenzo Ponce of Dunnigan on all charges arising from an “underground” cockfighting ring that Ponce operated. On Feb. 21, Judge Maguire sentenced the 63-year-old Ponce to 20 days in county jail and three years summary probation for the crimes, according to a District Attorney’s Office news release.

The District Attorney’s Office requested $106,235 from Ponce for costs to the county for impoundment, care and euthanasia of the birds taken from Ponce’s property. Ponce contested the amount at sentencing and a restitution hearing was scheduled. During that hearing, a representative of the sheriff’s Animal Control Services division testified that the county incurred the six-figure loss as the result of housing and taking care of the birds for 60 days before they were lawfully euthanized. The $75,135 award compensates for 40 of the 60 days, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

The restitution will reimburse the Animal Control Services division.