DOJ Seal Department of Justice  
United States Attorney John M. Bales
Eastern District of Texas

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE            CONTACT:  DAVILYN WALSTON
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 18, 2009            PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER
HTTP://WWW.USDOJ.GOV/USAO/txe             DIRECT: (409) 839-2538 CELL: (409) 553-9881

 

PANOLA COUNTY MAN GUILTY OF DOG FIGHTING CHARGES

            TYLER, TX – U.S. Attorney John M. Bales announced today that a 41-year-old Beckville, Texas man has pleaded guilty to federal dog fighting charges in the Eastern District of Texas. 

            HAROLD D. STEWART pleaded guilty to conspiracy to engage in an animal fighting venture today before U.S. Magistrate Judge John D. Love.

            According to information presented in court, on July 8, 2009, Stewart and 8 others were arrested when agents and officers executed a federal arrest warrant in Panola County and Gregg County, Texas, during which 9 dogs, mostly pit bull terriers, were seized.  A federal grand jury returned a 3-count indictment on June 30, 2009, charging Stewart with conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States.

            Stewart faces up to 3 years in federal prison at sentencing.  A sentencing date has not been set. 

            This case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of Inspector General (USDA-OIG), the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the Texas Department of Public Safety, and the Humane Society of the United States.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard L. Moore is prosecuting the case in coordination with U.S. Attorney's Offices in the Eastern District of Oklahoma and Western and Eastern Districts of Missouri.

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