North Carolina Man Sentenced to Prison for Role in Multi-State Dog Fighting Prosecution
A North Carolina man was sentenced yesterday to one year and one day in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release for his role in dog fighting activities, announced Acting Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey H. Wood of the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division, U.S. Attorney Matthew G.T. Martin for the Middle District of North Carolina and Special Agent in Charge Bethanne M. Dinkins for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Office of Inspector General.
On Jan. 12, Brexton Redell Lloyd, 54, of Eagle Springs, North Carolina, pleaded guilty to one felony count of conspiracy and two felony counts of possession and training a dog intended for use in an animal fighting venture, contrary to the animal fighting provisions of the federal Animal Welfare Act.
According to documents filed with the court, Lloyd participated with Justin “Jay” Love and others in a multi-state dog fighting conspiracy. These documents describe Lloyd and Love’s attempt to set up a dog fight between Lloyd and an unknown opponent in October 2015 and Lloyd’s breeding and training activities. Court documents further note that last year, federal agents seized 13 pitbull-type dogs from Lloyd’s residence. Ten of the dogs were secured outdoors by excessive chains, wearing thick collars, and positioned so that each dog was out of reach of any other dog. The other dogs were housed individually in pens. The water in the dogs’ bowls was frozen. Two of the four adult dogs seized exhibited scars consistent with dog fighting, and a third adult dog had four fractured teeth. In addition to the dogs, agents seized items related to training dogs for dog fighting purposes, including: a spring pole, a dog harness, and a hanging scale. Agents also seized veterinary supplies, including intravenous fluids, intravenous administration sets stated for “Veterinary Use Only,” injectable and other antibiotics, a 100-count package of syringes, blood-clotting medications such as Blood Stop Powder, and a skin stapler.
“Animal cruelty like the conduct in this case has no place in a civilized society,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Wood. “Yesterday’s sentencing sends a strong message that we are bringing to justice those who engage in illegal dog fighting and that anyone who engages in this conduct does so at the risk of significant jail time.”
“Dog fighting isn’t entertainment, it’s organized crime, and it has no place in our society,” said United States Attorney Matthew G.T. Martin for the Middle District of North Carolina. Martin added, “I thank our law enforcement partners at the Department of Agriculture, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Moore County Sheriff’s Office, and the N.C. State Highway Patrol for their exceptional coordination in bringing this defendant to justice.”
“The provisions of the Animal Welfare Act were designed to protect animals from being used in illegal fighting ventures, which often entail other forms of criminal activity involving drugs, firearms and gambling,” said Special Agent in Charge Dinkins for USDA OIG. “Together with the Department of Justice, animal fighting is an investigative priority for USDA OIG, and we will work with our law enforcement partners to investigate and assist in the criminal prosecution of those who participate in animal fighting ventures.”
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, over one hundred dogs have been rescued as part of Operation Grand Champion, and either surrendered or forfeited to the government. The Humane Society of the United States assisted with the care of the dogs seized by federal law enforcement.
This case was investigated by USDA OIG and FBI, with assistance from the Moore County Sheriff’s Office and the North Carolina Highway Patrol, and was prosecuted by Trial Attorney Erica H. Pencak of the Justice Department’s Environmental Crimes Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney JoAnna G. McFadden of the Middle District of North Carolina.