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.