From ANIMAL PEOPLE, March 1999:

Authorities in New York and
California recently achieved three of the biggest
dogfighting busts on record––but in New
Orleans, more than 50 reports of dogfighting
collected by the New Orleans Anti-Dogfighting
Task Force over the past 18 months reportedly
haven’t brought so much as one arrest.
Task force founder and League In
Support of Animals executive director Jeff
Dorson on February 9, 1999 formally complained
about the inaction to police superintendent
Richard Pennington.
Local high school teacher Anne B.
Churchill supported Dorson’s complaint with
pages of transcripts of classroom conversations
about dogfighting, to show how the nonenforcement
of anti-dogfighting laws affects the
attitudes of young people.

Said Dorson, “LISA has taken this
investigation as far as we can without more
active police assistance and direct intervention.”

Raid and theft
The first of the big California busts
came on December 17, 1998, when Galt police
and Sacramento County Animal Control seized
55 pit bull terriers, dogfighting souvenirs and
training equipment, a stolen handgun, and
what they termed “a sophisticated marijuana
cultivation operation” from veterinary technician
Cesar Cerda, 26, and his wife Mercedes
Ruiz Monterrubio, 25.
Eighteen of the pit bulls were stolen
from the county animal shelter on Christmas
Day, in a raid police attributed to operatives of
American Pit Enforcers, APE for short, a clandestine
organization of alleged weapons experts
and martial arts experts who apparently travel
the U.S. making a living stealing back fighting
dogs who have been seized by police and/or
humane investigators.
But only two and a half hours after the
shelter break-in, police in Manteca, California,
stopped Cody Eugene Grimes, 21, of Natomas,
California, on suspicion of drunk driving––and
found the stolen pit bulls in the back of his van.
Back to the shelter the dogs went,
where shelter director Patricia Wilcox admitted
her facilities were severely strained by having to
keep them all indefinitely as evidence.
The big New York bust came on
January 7 in Allegany County, where 46 pit
bulls were seized from William Reaves, 30, of
Clarksville, and Charles Felton Jr., 40, of
Rochester. Police about two weeks earlier
seized approximately a dozen pit bulls from a
site in Orleans County, but whether the raids
were related was not clear. There were indications
in local media coverage that the alleged
Reaves/Felton operation was the same one that
local police were reportedly set to raid in 1997,
when suddenly all the dogs disappeared.

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