Columbus Man Pleads Guilty to Dog-Fighting Conspiracy
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Charles A. Granberry, 40, of Columbus pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to conspiring to participate in a dog-fighting ring in central Ohio, and to illegally possessing a firearm.
Benjamin C. Glassman, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, Anthony Mohatt, Special Agent in Charge, Midwest Region, U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of Inspector General, Columbus Police Chief Kim Jacobs, Franklin County Prosecuting Attorney Ron O’Brien, and Capital Area Humane Society Executive Director Rachel D.K. Finney announced the plea entered today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Kimberly A. Jolson.
According to court documents, an undercover law enforcement officer met with Granberry and others over a two-week period at two houses in Columbus in March 2016. The officer saw evidence indicating that the house was used to train, fight and sell dogs, including at least 20 fighting dogs in the rear yard of one house that were chained to heavy automobile axles buried in the ground.
Officers executed search warrants on April 5, 2016 at five Columbus houses. Agents seized evidence including more than 40 dogs along with cages, treadmills, heavy chains and collars and other items. Agents found canine blood on the floor and walls of the basement of one home indicating that the area was used as a dog fighting pit. Officers arrested Granberry and seized firearms and documents connected to the dog fighting operation. Granberry has been in custody since his arrest.
Conspiracy is punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. Granberry is charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm, punishable by up to ten years in prison and a $250,000 fine. U.S. District Judge James L. Graham will schedule a hearing to sentence Granberry.
U.S. Attorney Glassman commended the ongoing investigation by the USDA-OIG, Columbus Police and the Humane Society, as well as Assistant U.S. Attorneys J. Michael Marous and Jessica Knight, and Franklin County Assistant Prosecutor Heather Robinson, who are representing the United States in this case.