Pedro Gavino, a 28-year-old man from Orosi, Tulare County, California, has been sentenced to seven years and three months in federal prison for selling ghost guns and participating in the illegal blood sport of cockfighting. The sentencing was announced by U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert.
Gavino pleaded guilty to the charges in May of this year. Court documents reveal that between February 2017 and October 2018, Gavino sold 24 unregistered firearms, including AR-15-type pistols and short-barreled rifles, which were privately made. These privately made firearms, also known as “ghost guns,” lack serial numbers and are untraceable.
The gun sales occurred at Gavino’s ranch in Orosi and various gas stations in Selma. Gavino was aware that the firearms were intended for buyers in Chicago and Juarez, Mexico. During one of these illegal transactions, Gavino also sold two birds commonly used for cockfighting and six Mexican slashers, which are short knives attached to a rooster’s leg for fighting purposes.
In April 2018, Gavino brought five gamecocks to a large cockfighting event in an orchard in Orosi, attracting 200 to 300 spectators. After two of Gavino’s gamecocks won their fights, a dispute erupted, resulting in gunshots being fired and the dispersal of the crowd.
Later that year, a federal search warrant executed at Gavino’s ranch led to the discovery of 128 gamecocks, 30 breeding hens, 278 Mexican slashers, and 10 additional firearms, including two AR-15-type pistols. Gavino agreed to surrender the animals involved in the case.
The investigation was conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, 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.