MARSHALL COUNTY, Okla. (KFOR) – Officials say three men were arrested in Marshall County following an illegal cockfighting investigation.

According to court documents, Herminio Mendoza, Jamie Bell, and Jackson Bell were all charged with possessing birds for fighting.

Jackson Bell and Jamie Bell were also charged with keeping a facility for cockfighting, servicing a facility for cockfighting, and encouraging cockfighting.

It’s very encouraging to see the Marshall County Sheriff’s Office make arrests for the barbaric and sickening practice of cockfighting.  Staged fights are occurring with disturbing frequency in Oklahoma, and the only way to stop it is to arrest the perpetrators,” said Wayne Pacelle, president of Animal Wellness Action.

If convicted, they all face up to 10 years in prison.

“Oklahoma’s anti-cockfighting law makes possession of fighting animals a felony, and the arrests invoke that critically important prohibition,” said Steve Hindi, president of Showing Animals Respect and Kindness, which has conducted undercover investigations of cockfights in southeast Oklahoma.  “We applaud the enforcement agencies for bringing these charges.”