Authorities in Clearwater, Florida have arrested two men who were accused of staging rooster fights. Detectives who made the arrest say Yendys Ortega, 28, was the second man to be charged after he turned himself in on January 28. Prosecutors will be making their case for a single count of “fighting or baiting animals” and a single count of “felony cruelty to animals.” Ortega made his temporary residence in the Pinellas County Jail until he came up with his $10,000 bond later that day.
Eleven roosters were removed from his Clearwater residence where authorities say he and his father, Juan Ortega, staged the fights. Yendys apparently owns the home.
A public complaint had been made on January 17, which was promptly followed up on by authorities. Responding officers saw a number of roosters living in a ring and cages near the residence. They approached the house to request that Juan allow them to search the premises. The request was promptly denied.
Were you charged with a criminal offense in Pinellas County? You have rights. If you’re innocent of the charges, you shouldn’t be held in custody for a single second longer than necessary. That’s why you need a good lawyer who knows the laws and the appropriate penalties for breaking them.
Our Pinellas law firm also handles cases related to DUI charges, drug crime charges, probation violation, sexual assault charges, ID theft or fraud charges, conspiracy charges, embezzlement, and racketeering.
It’s important to say as little as possible to the police when you suspect they are there to make an arrest. Saying the wrong thing could result in the authorities twisting your words if a case goes to court, and no one wants that. Ask for a lawyer right away.
Requesting a lawyer doesn’t necessarily mean you need one to argue your case. You will learn during a free consultation whether or not you can meet the judge without legal representation. This is usually possible for small, misdemeanor charges with minor penalties that don’t include the potential for incarceration.
Animal cruelty is not one of those charges. If you are accused of organizing or participating in rooster fights, then you will need proper legal representation. Animal cruelty penalties can include stiff fines and potential jail time for a repeat offender. These charges are common in Florida. Judges can be strict when handing down punishments.