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Press Release

Virginia Veterinary Technician Sentenced for Dogfighting and Promoting Animal Fighting Ventures

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

Carlos Warren, 49, of Rapidan, Virginia, was sentenced today to 20 months in prison and three years of supervised release for conspiring to fight dogs and promote dogfighting using interstate publications. U.S. District Judge Norman K. Moon for the Western District of Virginia pronounced the sentence and ordered the forfeiture of all the dogs and animal-fighting paraphernalia seized at Warren’s residence during the execution of a search warrant in March 2022. As a condition of his supervised release, Warren was ordered not to own or care for any animals, and to relinquish or not procure any licenses, certifications or other authorizations related to veterinary or animal care.

According to court-filed documents, Warren started fighting dogs as a teenager. While living in both California and Virginia, he published and distributed nationally a magazine called “the Connector.” The magazine contained interviews of known dogfighters, the results of various fights, breeding and pedigree information, advertisements for fighting dogs and a page which advertised the illegal sale of injectable steroids and other substances for dogs.

After moving to Virginia, Warren set up a dogfighting yard, hosted dogfights on his property and attended other dogfights. Notably, Warren’s work as a veterinary technician during much of this time enabled him to steal or otherwise obtain medications and other supplies. He then used these medications and supplies, as well as his veterinary technician training, to treat dogs during fights up until they lost or refused to fight. When that happened, Warren executed dogs through brutal means including electrocution.   

“This prosecution highlights the department’s continued commitment to holding accountable those who participate in and promote the blood sport of dogfighting,” said Assistant Attorney General Todd Kim of the Justice Department's Environment and Natural Resources Division. “The defendant’s certification and work as a veterinary technician, which he used to further these fights and promote the barbarous treatment of dogs, makes his crimes even more reprehensible.” 

“Dog fighting is savage and inhumane, and it will not be tolerated,” said U.S. Attorney Christopher R. Kavanaugh for the Western District of Virginia. “The individuals involved in the breeding, training and cruel deaths suffered by innocent animals – especially in a case like this at the hands of a trained veterinary technician – will be held accountable and justly punished by the Justice Department.”

The FBI Richmond Field Office investigated the case with the assistance of Virginia State Police. The case was prosecuted by Senior Litigation Counsel Todd W. Gleason of the Environmental Crimes Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Heather Carlton for the Western District of Virginia. Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Williams for the Central District of California also assisted with this case.

Updated July 31, 2023

Topic
Environment
Press Release Number: 23-832