September 25, 2023 - FRESNO, Calif. — Pedro Gavino, 28, of Orosi, was sentenced today to seven years and three months in prison for selling firearms without a license and conspiring to violate the Animal Welfare Act by selling gamecocks and participating in cockfighting events, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.
According to court documents, from February 2017 to October 2018, Gavino negotiated for the sale of 28 firearms and actually sold 24 unregistered firearms, including AR-15 type pistols and AR-15 type short-barreled rifles that had been privately made using unfinished receivers. Privately made firearms using unfinished receivers are known as “ghost guns” because they do not have a serial number and are untraceable. The gun sales occurred at Gavino’s ranch in Orosi and at different gas stations in Selma after the buyer advised Gavino that the firearms were destined for buyers in Chicago and Juarez, Mexico.
During one of the illegal gun transactions, Gavino also sold two American Game Fowl type of birds commonly used for cockfighting and six Mexican slashers, or short knives, that are attached to the leg of a rooster for the purpose of fighting.
In April 2018, Gavino brought five gamecocks to a large cockfighting event in an orchard in Orosi where 200 to 300 spectators gathered. After two of Gavino’s gamecocks fought and won, there was a dispute, gunshots were fired, and the crowd dispersed. In October 2018, during the execution of a federal search warrant at Gavino’s ranch, agents found 128 gamecocks, 30 hens used for breeding gamecocks, 278 Mexican slashers, and 10 additional firearms, including two AR-15 type pistols.
Gavino agreed to surrender the animals involved in the case - both gamecocks and hens used to breed gamecocks.
This case was the product of an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Office of Inspector General with assistance from the California Highway Patrol and the Fresno Police Department Multi-Agency Gang Enforcement Consortium (MAGEC). Assistant U.S. Attorney Karen A. Escobar prosecuted the case.
Source: DOJ Release