Acting United States Attorney for the New Mexico District and Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Department of Justice Environment and Natural Resources last week announced that Robert Arellano violated the animal fighting prohibitions of the Animal Welfare Act by engaging in acts that promote Dog Fighting.

Arellanos' illegal acts

During the trials, it was discovered that the accused was involved in multi-state dog fighting networks. The accused had previously engaged in the transportation, buying, selling and delivery of pit bulls so as to participate in fighting ventures and was also previously charged with conspiring to commit the acts in New Jersey and countrywide.

In his current trial, Arellano was arrested last year in the month of June and was found to be in possession of dogs. His arrest was as a result of an operation named Grand Champion within multiple districts of the country to combat dog fighting. The operation has helped law enforcers to rescue 85 dogs who were victims of dog fighting.

The Animal Welfare Act

The Animal Welfare Act makes it a crime that is punishable by up to 5 years in prison or a fine of $250,000 for each charge of knowingly selling, buying, possession, training, transporting, delivery, or receiving any animal for purposes of using them in an animal fighting venture for any form of gain such as pleasure or financial.

Dog fighting in the United States

In the U.S, dog fighting has been used for entertainment and gambling and has existed as an illegal underground activity for a very long time.

In April 2007, professional football player Michael Vick was found to have had operated a dog fighting ring in his property. In August 2006, a dog fighter in Texas bled to death after being shot by intruders who later tortured him into revealing where he had hidden 100,000 U.S dollars he had won in a dog match. A former NFL running back named LeShon Johnston received a five-year sentence in 2005 after dogs numbering 200 were seized during a raid of his dog fighting activities in Oklahoma.

Former NBA forward Qyntel Woods pleaded guilty to animal abuse in the year 2005 that was being done at his home in Portland Oregon. Police believe that those engaging in dog fighting are also dealing in illegal narcotics and illegal weapon trade. The U.S Humane Society estimates that about 40,000 people in the United States trade in fighting dogs every year and are involved in activities related to dogfighting.

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