A federal grand jury in Albuquerque, New Mexico indicted Robert Arellano with 13 counts of violating the federal animal fighting prohibitions, officials announced Wednesday.
Arellano, 63, had previously been arrested and indicted on additional charges in New Jersey pertaining to his alleged involvement in a multi-state dog fighting network. Arellano allegedly kept dogs at his house in Albuquerque.
Nine people along with Arellano were arrested in all. Six suspect are from New Jersey, where the alleged ring was located, while the other two are from Indiana and Illinois, according to officials.
According to a criminal complaint, Arellano is accused of delivering the dogs to be used in fighting matches, violating federal law.
To read the indictment click here: Department of Justice
This case is part of Operation Grand Champion, a coordinated effort across numerous federal judicial districts to combat organized dog fighting.
The phrase “Grand Champion” is used by dog fighters to refer to a dog with more than five dog-fighting “victories.” To date, 85 dogs have been rescued as part of Operation Grand Champion, and either surrendered or forfeited to the government.
The federal Animal Welfare Act makes it a felony punishable by up to five years in prison.
The defendants are innocent unless proven guilty.
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