Morgan City man faces 147 counts of cockfighting in St. Mary Parish
St. Mary Parish, LA (KPLC) - A Morgan City man is wanted for cockfighting in St. Mary Parish, officials say.
St. Mary Parish Sheriff Blaise Smith said Jesus Fernandez, 61, of Morgan City, is wanted on 147 counts of cockfighting and 151 counts of animal cruelty.
Two others - Artemio Rodriguez, 43, and Mari Ortiz, 44, both of Amelia - have been arrested for animal cruelty.
Smith said authorities in September 2020 began investigating Fernandez’s possible involvement in the selling of drugs and chicken fighting.
Smith said a detective with the St. Mary Parish Narcotics Section conducted a traffic stop on Fernandez on Aug. 7, 2021, finding drugs, drug paraphernalia, and cash, as well as chickens in cages that appeared to have been used in cockfighting. Fernandez was booked into the St. Mary Parish Law Enforcement Center and later released on $31,750 bond.
A search warrant executed on Aug. 10, 2021, at a residence in Amelia, found chickens, sheep, and other animals in poor condition without proper food and water, Smith said. Dead chickens were also found on the property. Officials seized 166 chickens and 16 goats and sheep.
Rodriguez and Ortiz were arrested for animal cruelty and released on a summons to appear on Nov. 2, 2021.
A warrant was issued for Jesus Fernandez for 147 counts of cockfighting and 151 counts of animal cruelty.
Smith asked anyone with information on Fernandez’s location to call (337) 828-1960.
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