In mid-November, state and federal agents carried out a raid at an Akron home in which they reportedly discovered one of the largest dogfighting operations in recent history. The Ohio homeowner is now facing multiple criminal charges on the federal level. He has been ordered into police custody until after a hearing for detention scheduled for early December.
According to the authorities, at the time the raid was conducted, the alleged dogfight had attracted more than 45 spectators from several different states. The search purportedly rounded up eight pit bulls and more than a dozen marijuana plants. Dried marijuana in baggies, firearms and 11 vehicles that were also said to have been seized. Along with the animals and property, authorities say they also found more than $52,000 in cash in the home.
Police stated that they recovered more than $30,000 from the grounds of the property that was supposedly dropped by the spectators as they fled the property when law enforcement arrived. The search also allegedly revealed a variety of implements and supplies that are purportedly associated with the training and fighting of pit bulls. The animals that were seized were turned over to animal control.
The 55-year-old homeowner has a history of convictions for drug-related charges for which he was sentenced to prison. He is now facing criminal charges that include dogfighting, possessing a weapon near a drug operation, the cultivation of marijuana as well as other counts in federal court for the Northern District of Ohio. He will likely assemble a talented and experienced defense team which will help determine the best defense for the man. There was no mention as to what led police to conduct a raid so that may be one area that the defense may explore as well as determining whether the man’s constitutional rights were violated during the investigation and property search. He will also have the opportunity to challenge any and all evidence and confront his accusers in court.
Source: cleveland.com, “Akron man accused of organizing nationwide dogfighting ring now charged in federal court“, Adam Ferrise, Nov. 28, 2014