MIDDLESEX, N.C. (WNCN) — Three men were arrested Saturday morning after deputies got an anonymous tip and broke up a cockfighting event, the Nash County Sheriff’s Office said.

Deputies responded at about 9:45 a.m. to the 3500 block of Old Nash Road. When they arrived, they said they found a dirt path that led to a small grassy field behind a home and a gate across the path leading to the field.

Deputies said they found Bobby Eatmon, 40, of Simms, at the gate accepting money from drivers as they entered the gate.

“Deputies observed several other subjects running to various locations off the property with chickens in their arms when they saw deputies approaching,” the sheriff’s office said, adding that several small cages were seen across the property next to vehicles and that some of the cages had chickens and roosters in them.

Chickens in cages brought to the cock fighting event (Nash County Sheriff’s Office)

Deputies also said they made contact with Richard Perry, 63, of Middlesex, who owned the property. Investigators then determined that the event was related to cockfighting and that there was a $40 entry fee per vehicle.

(Nash County Sheriff’s Office)

Deputies said no fighting had taken place and that they seized money connected to the event.

During the investigation, deputies also identified Dustin Collie, 38, of Spring Hope, as an alleged accomplice.

The sheriff’s office said Eatmon, Perry and Collie were all charged with cockfighting and taken to the Nash County Detention facility. They were all released after posting $5,000 secured bonds

They are scheduled to appear in court at 9 a.m. Tuesday.

Cockfighting is a felony in all 50 states under federal law with sentences of up to five years in prison and fines of up to $250,000. Cockfighting is also a felony under North Carolina State law.