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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Florida

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Pasco County Man Pleads Guilty To Federal Dog Fighting Charge

Tampa, Florida – Tyler C. McGovern (32, Pasco County) has pleaded guilty to one felony dogfighting count, in violation of the animal fighting provisions of the federal Animal Welfare Act. He faces a maximum sentence of five years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine. A sentencing date has not yet been set.

According to the plea agreement, McGovern participated with others in a dog fighting conspiracy. In 2015 and 2016, he and his co-conspirators, operating as Triangle Gang, sponsored pit bulls in dog fights in Duval, Sumter, and Marion counties. On March 1, 2017, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant in Sumter County at a property belonging to a Triangle Gang member and seized eight pit bulls, along with equipment and supplements used to condition the dogs for fighting. 

The federal Animal Welfare Act makes it a felony 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 case was investigated by the FBI, the Pasco Sheriff’s Office, and the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Christopher F. Murray.

Updated June 21, 2018