Final Defendants Sentenced in Multi-State Dog Fighting Prosecution
Trenton, N.J.
   
 
More Today's News:
ߦ   SPECIAL NOTE TO READERS/SUBSCRIBERS
ߦ   2 Dead In Officer Involved Shooting
ߦ   Alien Smuggler Learns Fate for Trying to Run Over Federal Agent
ߦ   El Chapo sentencing: Mexican drug lord Joaquin Guzman gets life in prison
ߦ   Honduran Man Charged with Smuggling Female Child into the U.S.
ߦ   Missing woman's remains found under dead cow, authorities say; Husband now charged with murder
ߦ   MS-13 murdering Americans with machetes, cutting out victim’s heart. Politicians: we won't be deporting them.
ߦ   Profiles In Courage – He Survived A Murder Attempt Only To Have To Fight His Agency and County – Retired Corporal Eddie Richardson
ߦ   Texas Rapper Made Video While On The Run, Today Taymor McIntyre Is In Court For His Murder Trial
ߦ   Texas woman lived with dead mother's remains for three years, police say
ߦ   Unsolved murder case is the talk of small Texas town 17 years later
ߦ   Woman Charged with Importing 88 Kilos of Meth
ߦ   2 dead, including gunman, in Baltimore methadone clinic shooting; wounded sergeant in serious but stable condition
ߦ   Cold Case Remains Need Identifying
ߦ   Florida Capital Sentencing Juries Return Four Life Verdicts in Two Weeks
ߦ   NEW RESOURCES: Capital Punishment and the State of Criminal Justice 2019
ߦ   Paris Police Dept. - Daily Activity Summary
ߦ   Texas Sets Execution Date For Jewish Prisoner Who Alleges Judge Was Racist and Anti-Semitic
ߦ   Victoria man dies after contracting flesh-eating bacteria
ߦ   Woman says she was viciously attacked while tubing near New Braunfels

   Next >>
 
Search Archives:

Operation Grand Champion Yields 12 Convictions and 315 Months in Prison

The last of 12 defendants to be convicted for their roles in multi-state dog fighting conspiracies were sentenced yesterday in federal court in Trenton, New Jersey, the Department of Justice announced today.

  • Justin Love, 39, of Sewell, New Jersey, was sentenced on July 3, 2019, to serve 54 months in prison. A jury had convicted Love of one felony count of conspiracy to violate the animal fighting prohibitions of the federal Animal Welfare Act, six felony counts of possessing a dog intended for use in an animal fighting venture, and two felony counts of purchasing and receiving a dog intended for use in an animal fighting venture.
  • Robert A. Elliott, Sr., 50, of Millville, New Jersey, was sentenced on May 30, 2019, to serve 24 months in prison. A jury had convicted Elliott of one felony count of conspiracy to violate the animal fighting prohibitions of the federal Animal Welfare Act, and 12 felony counts of possessing a dog intended for use in an animal fighting venture.
  • Dajwan Ware, 46, of Fort Wayne, Indiana, was sentenced on May 29, 2019, to serve 24 months in prison. A jury had convicted Ware of one felony count of conspiracy to violate the animal fighting prohibitions of the federal Animal Welfare Act.

“Our justice system will not tolerate the torment and death of animals in the fighting ring, as the sentencings in this case demonstrate,” said Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey Bossert Clark for the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division. “Although the one chapter represented by this landmark series of cases has now closed, we will continue to place a high priority on pursuing and prosecuting similar illegal animal fighting ventures across the country.”

“Dog fighting exacts a steep toll on animals, local animal shelters, charitable humane organizations, and the taxpayers of New Jersey,” said U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito for the District of New Jersey. “We applaud our local and federal partners who worked so tirelessly to investigate this case and bring the offenders to justice. The message from today’s sentencing hearing is simple: don’t fight dogs in New Jersey, or elsewhere, if you want to avoid a lengthy prison sentence.”

“The provisions of the Animal Welfare Act were designed to protect animals from being used in illegal fighting ventures, which often entail other forms of criminal activity involving drugs, firearms and gambling,” Special Agent in Charge Bethanne M. Dinkins of the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Office of Inspector General said. “Together with the Department of Justice, animal fighting is an investigative priority for USDA-OIG, and we will work with our law enforcement partners to investigate and assist in the criminal prosecution of those who participate in animal fighting ventures.”

“Animal cruelty is a heinous crime that deserves our ultimate condemnation and serious legal consequences for those who engage in it for ‘sport’ and/or profit,” said Brian Michaels, Special Agent in Charge, Homeland Security Investigations, Newark. “As an agency, we are proud to work with our partners to identify, investigate and assist our partners to rout out those who engage in this despicable, inhumane, and illegal practice.”

According to trial evidence and court documents filed in connection with the cases, the defendants and their associates regularly fought dogs – including regularly to the death – and repeatedly trafficked in dogs with other dog fighters across several states so that those dogs could be used in dog fights. They also maintained significant numbers of fighting dogs and substantial dog fighting equipment such as dog treadmills, intravenous drug bags and lines, and “breeding stands” used to immobilize female dogs. At Justin Love’s residence, canine blood was found on the floor, walls, and ceiling of the basement, and Love had tried to set up a “class” for dog fighters to practice administering I.V. fluids to injured dogs, using live dogs as their practice subjects. Another defendant who previously pleaded guilty admitted that following a fight, his dog died in his car on the way home.

Today’s sentencing brings to a close Operation Grand Champion, a multi-jurisdictional federal dog fighting investigation which commenced in 2015 and resulted in the convictions of 12 defendants in four federal districts. The 12 defendants were sentenced to a total of 315 months in prison. The phrase “Grand Champion” is used by dog fighters to refer to a dog with more than five dog fighting “victories.” As a result of the investigation, 113 dogs were rescued and either surrendered or forfeited to the government.

Judge Peter G. Sheridan presided over the trial and imposed the sentences.

The government was represented in the Trenton proceedings by Trial Attorney Ethan Eddy of the Justice Department’s Environmental Crimes Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Kathleen O’Leary of the District of New Jersey. The case was investigated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture – Office of Inspector General, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security – Homeland Security Investigations, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Post a comment
Name/Nickname:
(required)
Email Address: (must be a valid address)
(will not be published or shared)
Comments: (plain text only)
Printer Friendly Format  Printer Friendly Format    Send to a Friend  Send to a Friend    RSS Feed  RSS Feed
© 1999-2019 The Police News. All rights reserved.