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Press Release

Kent County Man Sentenced To Incarceration For Drugs, Gun And Dog Fighting

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Delaware

WILMINGTON, Del. – Charles M. Oberly, III, United States Attorney for the District of Delaware, announced that Dawan Nelson, age 33, of Houston, Delaware, was sentenced today by United States District Court Judge Sue L. Robinson to 88 months incarceration.   Nelson had pled guilty to possessing 33 kilograms of cocaine with intent to distribute, being a felon in possession of a firearm, and dog fighting. 

According to statements made at the sentencing hearing and documents filed in court, Delaware State Police and Delaware Animal Care and Control officers searched Nelson’s home in Houston, Delaware, on January 8, 2013, and found 33 kilograms of cocaine, two loaded semi-automatic pistols, and 67 American Terrier Pit Bulls.  Many of the pit bulls bore scars from dog fighting.  During the search, officers also found disposable skin staplers, a gallon bottle of iodine, weighted collars, weighted sleds, breaking sticks and spring poles.  The investigation showed that dogs that lost matches sometimes were disposed of by being shot or suffocated.

Following the sentencing, Charles M. Oberly, III, United States Attorney for the District of Delaware, stated, “Depravity associated with dog-fighting, including the torture and execution of dogs, deserves punishment associated with such cruelty.”

This successful prosecution at the federal level sends a message that dog fighting is illegal and will not be tolerated in Delaware,” said Capt. Sherri Warburton, Delaware Animal Care and Control. 

This case was investigated by the Delaware State Police, the Drug Enforcement Administration, Delaware Animal Care and Control, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Edmond Falgowski.

Updated February 27, 2024

Animal Welfare