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Dog Fighting Ring Busted, 22 Indicted, 139 Animals Recovered

By    |   Tuesday, 23 Dec 2014 09:32 AM

A sophisticated dog fighting ring was busted in Baltimore as state and city officials announced the indictment of 22 people involved in the underground activity.

The indictment accused the suspects of running a vast dog fighting operation from April 2013 until the indictments were issued, according to WBAL-TV. Officials said members of the Baltimore ring were linked to a dog fighting bust in Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina.

Authorities claimed in court documents that 139 dogs, mostly pit bulls, were recovered from individuals named in the indictment, noted WBAL-TV.

Authorities recovered a dozen firearms, numerous treadmills, breaking sticks, heavy chains, conditioning harnesses, steroids, and topical and injectable medications meant to be administered by licensed professionals.

Authorities also found dog fighting rings, surgical equipment, and breeding stands which were used to facilitate the breeding, training and fighting of dogs.

The year-long investigation was carried out by the major investigations unit of the Baltimore City State's Attorney's Office and the special enforcement section of the Baltimore Police Department.

"It's a cruel world," Baltimore police Lt. Col. Sean Miller told the Baltimore Sun. "The connectivity to violent crime and violence is apparent."

Thiru Vignarajah, major crimes unit chief for the state's attorney's office, said dog fighting remained big business in the Baltimore-area with betting purses soaring above $100,000.

"Because there is a link between animal abuse and human violence, it is important that these crimes be taken seriously, which is exactly what the [police] did," said Katie Flory, chair of the Baltimore mayor's Anti-Animal Abuse Commission.

Authorities said eight of the 22 indicted already had convictions for violent crime, driving home the link between animal abuse and criminal violence, according to WBAL-TV.

"The firearms and narcotics seized during the course of this investigation and during the execution of the search warrants this week establish that there is a strong connection between those individuals who would subject animals to horrific treatment and abuse and those engaged in the drug trade and acts of violence," said Gregg Bernstein, Maryland's attorney general for Baltimore.

"The indictment announced today highlights this connection and hopefully will protect innocent and vulnerable animals from further abuse and reduce violent criminal activity that adversely impacts our community," said Bernstein.

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A sophisticated dog fighting ring was busted in Baltimore as state and city officials announced the indictment of 22 people involved in the underground activity.
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2014-32-23
Tuesday, 23 Dec 2014 09:32 AM
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