Moore County Man Charged in Fourteen-Count Dogfighting Indictment | OPA | Department of Justice

The United States Department of Justice

Justice News
Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, September 28, 2017
Moore County Man Charged in Fourteen-Count Dogfighting Indictment

Today a federal magistrate judge unsealed a superseding indictment charging Brexton Redell Lloyd, 54, of Eagle Springs, with one count of conspiracy and thirteen counts of violating the animal fighting prohibitions of the federal Animal Welfare Act, announced Acting United States Attorney Sandra J. Hairston for the Middle District of North Carolina, and Acting Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey H. Wood for the Department of Justice’s Environment and Natural Resources Division.

The charges returned today pertain to pit bull-type dogs allegedly kept by Lloyd at his residence in Eagle Springs. The Defendant allegedly possessed and trained the dogs for fighting ventures and conspiring to commit these acts throughout the United States. The dogs were seized by federal authorities in a search warrant executed in March 2017.

This case is part of Operation Grand Champion, a coordinated effort across numerous federal judicial districts to combat organized dog fighting. The phrase “Grand Champion” is used by dog fighters to refer to a dog with more than five dog-fighting “victories.” To date, approximately one hundred dogs have been rescued as part of Operation Grand Champion, and either surrendered or forfeited to the government.

The federal Animal Welfare Act makes it a felony punishable by up to five years in prison to knowingly sell, buy, possess, train, transport, deliver, or receive any animal, including dogs, for purposes of having the animal participate in an animal fighting venture. Under federal law, an animal fighting venture means “any event, in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce, that involves a fight conducted or to be conducted between at least two animals for purposes of sport, wagering, or entertainment.”

This part of Operation Grand Champion was investigated by the United States Department of Agriculture, Office of the Inspector General and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, in coordination with the Department of Justice, with assistance from the North Carolina State Highway Patrol and the Moore County Sheriff’s Office.

The government is represented by Assistant United States Attorney JoAnna G. McFadden of the Middle District of North Carolina and Trial Attorney Erica Pencak of the Justice Department’s Environmental Crimes Section, Environment and Natural Resources Division. The Humane Society of the United States assisted with the care of the dogs seized by federal law enforcement.

An indictment is an allegation based upon a finding of probable cause by a grand jury. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until convicted.

If convicted, the defendant faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine per count. The investigation is ongoing.

https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/moore-county-man-charged-fourteen-count-dogfighting-indictment-0

Environment and Natural Resources Division
Press Release Number:
17-1075
Updated September 28, 2017
Department of Justice Seal – Department of Justice Action Center
Report a Crime

Locate a Prison, Inmate, or Sex Offender

Submit a Complaint
Report Waste, Fraud, Abuse or Misconduct to the Inspector General
Find Sales of Seized Property
Find Help and Information for Crime Victims
Register, Apply for Permits, or Request Records
Identify Our Most Wanted Fugitives
Find a Form
Report and Identify Missing Persons
Contact Us
JUSTICE.GOV

DOJ | 950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20530-0001

NYC Pet Store Investigated by HSUS Shuttered, but larger policy reforms needed · A Humane Nation


In July, we posted a heartbreaking video of sick puppies and deficient care at the Chelsea Kennel Club, a pet store in Manhattan. Above, a puppy oozing mucus at the Chelsea Kennel Club in May. Photo by The HSUS
NYC pet store investigated by HSUS shuttered, but larger policy reforms needed
September 26, 2017

The Chelsea Kennel Club – a boutique Manhattan pet store that was the focus of an HSUS undercover investigation released just two months ago – appears to be shuttered. In July, we posted a heartbreaking video of sick puppies and deficient care there, which attracted five million views on Facebook. Today no one is answering the phone at the store, and photographs reveal a “closed” sign on the front door and rows of empty shelves.

While we certainly want outliers in regard to animal care and cruelty to change their ways or to go out of business, we cannot do in-depth investigations at the hundreds of places throughout the country that are supplying stores like the one in New York. That’s why the nation needs sound policies that set measurable standards of care and assure that these standards are enforced.

Sometimes puppies acquire an illness in a pet store, and the health problems are compounded by cost-cutting measures and inexperienced and inattentive personnel. But in many cases, the dogs arrive sick because of terrible conditions at puppy mills. These are precisely the mills that are the focus of our major reform efforts.

There are plenty of tricks that mill operators use to hide their abuses. Many scofflaw operators purport to having clean inspection reports, but that’s only because they dropped a noncompliant license under one name, and opened a new one under a different family member’s name or a different business name. We found this hide-the-ball strategy at work in several such businesses selling to Chelsea Kennel Club. Sadly, it’s not illegal. There isn’t even a specific rule that requires people who have been convicted of animal cruelty to disclose their conviction when applying for or renewing a USDA license.

But there’s good news. The U.S. Department of Agriculture, which is in charge of enforcing the Animal Welfare Act (AWA), the federal law that requires certain animal businesses to abide by basic standards of care, is requesting public comment on a proposed rule on the topic. The proposal would close the loophole, leading to the actual shut-down of recidivist puppy millers, as well as roadside zoos and substandard circuses covered under the same regulations.

The Chelsea Kennel Club appears to have closed permanently just two months after an HSUS undercover investigation. Photo by Colin Gillooly

Allowing noncompliant licensees to continue operating is harmful to animals, a waste of government resources, and can also lead to public and animal health crises. In 2010, authorities linked an outbreak of distemper at a Wyoming pet store to Jeff Fortin, who owned a USDA-licensed dog breeding kennel in Kansas. That resulted in the killing of 1,200 dogs. Fortin had been found in violation of AWA standards for years, but he used a technique that many problem dealers have used in the past—they “erase” their histories by simply dropping a non-compliant license and getting a new one under a different business name. In addition, the CDC is currently investigating a seven-state outbreak of a bacterial disease in humans that has been linked to a major national pet store chain that buys its puppies from USDA-licensed breeders. For the safety of animals and the public, it only makes sense that the USDA require licensees to affirmatively demonstrate compliance with the AWA’s health and welfare standards before renewing a license.

The new proposed USDA rule can help prevent puppy millers from gaming the system. We have a chance to urge the USDA to make four vital changes:

Require licensees to affirmatively demonstrate compliance with the AWA before renewing a license or significantly expanding their operations
Prevent noncompliant licensees from simply transferring their operation to another person or LLC on the same (or adjacent) property
Require license applicants and renewing applicants to disclose any animal cruelty convictions, and
Make the process for denying or revoking a license more effective and efficient

The pet industry will most likely fight against closing these gaps in AWA oversight, so the agency needs to hear from you. You can help by commenting directly on the Federal Register site, or comment via our Action Alert. Please remember to personalize your comments, and to be respectful and polite.

https://blog.humanesociety.org/wayne/2017/09/nyc-pet-store-shuttered-larger-policy-reforms-needed.html?credit=web_id93480558?credit=em_092717