Leonardo Fernandez, 53, is accused of running a chop shop and cockfighting ring at his Tampa home

21 roosters euthanized by court order
Posted at 12:17 PM, Aug 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-05 17:23:56-04
A 53-year-old Tampa man is accused of running a chop shop and cockfighting ring at his home.
Leonardo Fernandez of 3929 Comanche Ave. is facing multiple charges including operating a chop shop, possessing or breeding animals for fighting, possession of cocaine, possession of drug paraphernalia and grand theft.
Tampa Police Department says it served a search warrant at the home Thursday and found stolen vehicles on the property, including motorcycles, a boat and a trailer all with altered VIN numbers.
Several days earlier, police told ABC Action News they found a stolen Porsche, jet ski and boat trailer at a Courtney Campbell Boat ramp.  They added the VIN numbers were also altered.
However, fingerprints found on the items matched Fernandez's.
That is what led them to get a search warrant.
According to investigators, they found 21 roosters in the backyard with their back and chest feathers plucked, indicating they were used for fighting.
An arrest affidavit states a fighting arena was found on the property that contained a red substance consistent with blood.
Police say Fernandez admitted to owning the roosters.
Animal control officer euthanized all 21 roosters citing a court order.  They explained the roosters are too expensive to house and so aggressive, they'd try and kill one another during transport.
Inside the home, police say they found a black bag containing narcotic cutting agents, sandwich bags, a digital scale and a small bag containing cocaine. In the closet, police say they located another bag containing the same items.
As Tampa officers and animal control officers worked to remove items and animals from the home Friday morning, a woman who identified herself as the mother of Fernandez's child told ABC Action News the family has been instructed not to speak to media by their private attorney.
Fernandez is being held without bond.
A neighbor, who asked for his identity not to be released out of safety concerns, says people were coming and going from the home at all hours and neighbors always suspected something was not right.
"Just bad news," the man said.