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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Ohio

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Final Defendant Sentenced in Dog-Fighting Conspiracy

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Four Columbus men have been sentenced in U.S. District Court for crimes related to participating in a dog-fighting ring in central Ohio.

Charles A. Granberry, 42, was sentenced to 72 months in prison. Henry Gerard James Hill, Jr., 22, and Randall J. Frye, 59, were each sentenced to six months in prison. Dwayne T. Robinson, Jr., 34, was sentenced to three years of probation including six months of home confinement, 150 hours of community service and ordered to pay $3,700 in restitution.

Benjamin C. Glassman, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, Anthony V. 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 Columbus Humane Executive Director Rachel D.K. Finney announced the sentences handed down by U.S. District Judge James L. Graham.

According to court documents, investigators discovered evidence at two houses in Columbus in March 2016 that indicated the houses were 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 subsequently executed search warrants on April 5, 2016 at five Columbus houses. Agents seized evidence including 46 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.

At the time of the search warrant, the Humane Society officials took extreme measures to ensure the safety of the seized dogs and the ASPCA provided animal behavioral specialists to conduct examinations of each dog. Some of the dogs reacted severely to loud noises and leashes during the examinations. For example, one dog latched on to a stuffed animal so aggressively that professionals had to cut the head off the toy.

Additionally, a large number of the dogs seized had a canine disease called Babesia Gibsoni, which results in anemia and ultimately death. The prevalence of the disease is unusually high in “bully breeds” used in dog-fighting operations through exposure to infected dogs’ blood and during non-sterile procedures such as tail docking, ear cropping and vaccinations of multiple animals with single needles.

Of the 46 dogs seized, specialists determined that 15 were eligible for placement in a shelter for adoption, and the remaining 31 dogs were euthanized for behavioral concerns or medical issues.

If you have information related to suspected dog-fighting activity, please call the Columbus Humane Cruelty Investigation Department at 614-777-7387 ext. 250.

U.S. Attorney Glassman commended the investigation by the USDA-OIG, Columbus Police, the Humane Society and the ASPCA, as well as Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jessica W. Knight and J. Michael Marous, and Franklin County Assistant Prosecutor Heather Robinson, who are representing the United States in this case.

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Topic(s): 
Wildlife
Component(s): 
Contact: 
jennifer.thornton@usdoj.gov
Updated March 20, 2018