Leudis Mendoza charged with growing marijuana, animal cruelty

2:34 PM, May 2, 2013   |    comments
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Port Richey, Florida -- A call by neighbors of a robbery in progress at a Port Richey home resulted in the discovery of a grow house operation and signs of dog fighting.

When Pasco Sheriff's deputies arrived at the home in the 7100 block of Nova Scotia Drive, neighbors told them someone was inside the home and, according to the owner, no one should be there. Deputies found the front door ajar and when they went inside they found two rooms housing about 70 marijuana plants.

While deputies were at the home, Leudis Mendoza arrived and said he was the homeowner and admitted he had a grow house operation inside. Leudis was detained and agreed to let deputies conduct a full search of the home.

When they did, they found a dog in a cage inside and two more in caged in a shed in the back yard "clearly malnourished and scared". A treadmill was also found inside with chains attached to exercise the dogs, along with other equipment commonly seen in dog fighting circles.

Deputies reported they found indications that the pit bull terriers had been used for fighting due their noticeable scars. When asked about the dogs and their scars, Mendoza told police they "play rough" and that's how they got them.

Animal Control came and took the dogs and Mendoza, 37, was charged with cultivation of marijuana, trafficking marijuana, five counts of cruelty to animals.

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