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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, August 2, 2018

Former Navy Sailor Heads to Prison for Distributing Animal Crush Video

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas - A 26-year-old former Navy sailor has been ordered to federal prison for distributing a video depicting the drowning of puppies, announced U.S. Ryan K. Patrick. Former Petty Officer Third Class Daniel James O’Sullivan pleaded guilty March 28, 2018.

Today, U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzalez Ramos handed O’Sullivan a 21-month sentence. O’Sullivan will also be required to serve a term of three years of supervised release following completion of the prison term.

In June 2016, Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) agents were notified that O’Sullivan would be in possession of disturbing videos depicting the torture and killing of animals. Authorities interviewed him at Naval Air Station Corpus Christi where he was stationed at the time. O’Sullivan admitted he distributed a video to an individual in Montana that depicted the drowning of puppies in a river. That individual admitted to receiving the video. 

Law enforcement conducted a forensic search on his digital devices which resulted in the discovery of the video depicting the drowning of puppies and other animal crush videos. In one video, a dog’s mouth is closed with duct tape as it is set on fire. In another, a dog is thrown off a high-rise building. Other videos depict mice and baby chicks being ground-up in a blender. 

Under federal law, it is illegal to depict - via photograph, motion-picture film, video, digital recording or electronic image - actual conduct in which one or more living non-human mammals, birds, reptiles or amphibians is intentionally crushed, burned, drowned, suffocated, impaled or otherwise subjected to serious bodily injury, and is obscene.

This is the second such case prosecuted in this district. The first resulted in a 57-month federal prison sentence and was believed to be the first indicted nationwide since the statute was amended in 2010.  

In September 2017, O’Sullivan received an other than honorable discharge from the Navy.

O’Sullivan was permitted to remain on bond and voluntarily surrender to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

NCIS conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Hugo R. Martinez is prosecuting the case. 

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Updated August 2, 2018