10 arrested in one of the biggest dog fighting rings in New York history, LI police say

Long Island

SUFFOLK COUNTY — Police arrested 10 alleged operators of a dogfighting ring and rescued 89 dogs, New York officials said Monday.

The ring operated across Long Island, New York City and several other states, Suffolk County. The case could have impacts across the region, District Attorney Timothy Sini said.

“This case is about how a criminal network bred dogs, tortured them, and put them in serious harm’s way just to make a buck,” Sini said. “Through our investigation, we were able to infiltrate this dogfighting enterprise and put it out of business by arresting 10 individuals responsible for perpetuating this horrifying cycle of violence against animals, and by rescuing 89 dogs that were trapped in this life of torture and brutality.”

This was one of the most disturbing cases Suffolk County Acting Police Commissioner Stuart Cameron has seen in his nearly 40 years with the department, he said.

“It also deeply disturbed our detectives assigned to the District Attorney’s Squad as they worked on this case over an extended period of time and dealt with the abject cruelty of these defendants toward these helpless animals,” Cameron said. “This was the largest and most brutal dogfighting rings this county has ever seen, but it is over now thanks to the work of our department, the DA’s Office, and several other agencies.”

The rescued dogs were found in basements, garages and sheds, officials said. Some were without food and water. Many of the dogs were scared. Some were scarred and had broken teeth.

A Special Grand Jury was being empaneled to investigate the case further.

The ASPCA collaborated with police on the investigation.

“This brutal case involving dozens of victimized animals demonstrates that dogfighting persists in every corner of America, requiring that we remain diligent in our effort to eradicate animal fighting across the country,” Elizabeth Brandler, senior counsel for ASPCA Legal Advocacy & Investigations, said. “We are grateful that the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office and Suffolk County Police Department chose to work with us on this complex case and for their commitment to stopping these despicable crimes, rescuing the animals involved, and bringing the perpetrators to justice.”

Police charged:

William Ashton, a/k/a “Mr. Bill,” 80, of Mastic, is charged with two counts of Violation of the Prohibition of Animal Fighting, a felony, and Possessing Animal Fighting Paraphernalia, a class B misdemeanor.

Jontae Barker, 32, of Bay Shore, is charged with Violation of the Prohibition of Animal Fighting, a felony; Overdriving, Torturing and Injuring Animals (Failure to Provide Proper Sustenance), a class A misdemeanor; and three counts of Possessing Animal Fighting Paraphernalia, a class B misdemeanor.

Edward Hodge, 74, of Uniondale, is charged with Violation of the Prohibition of Animal Fighting, a felony; Overdriving, Torturing and Injuring Animals (Failure to Provide Proper Sustenance), a class A misdemeanor; Conspiracy in the Fifth Degree, a class A misdemeanor; and two counts of Possessing Animal Fighting Paraphernalia, a class B misdemeanor.

Darrel Madison, 44, of Mastic, is charged with Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the First Degree, a class A-I felony; two counts of Violation of the Prohibition of Animal Fighting, a felony; Overdriving, Torturing and Injuring Animals (Failure to Provide Proper Sustenance), a class A misdemeanor; and three counts of Possessing Animal Fighting Paraphernalia, a class B misdemeanor. During the execution of the search warrants, Madison was allegedly found in possession of more than half a kilogram of cocaine.

Jeffrey Spencer, 65, of Wyandanch, is charged with Violation of the Prohibition of Animal Fighting, a felony, and Possessing Animal Fighting Paraphernalia, a class B misdemeanor.

Paul Whelan, 57, of Shirley, is charged with two counts of Violation of the Prohibition of Animal Fighting, a felony; Overdriving, Torturing and Injuring Animals (Failure to Provide Proper Sustenance), a class A misdemeanor; and two counts of Possessing Animal Fighting Paraphernalia, a class B misdemeanor.

Jerome Chapman, 39, of Bay Shore, is charged with two counts of Violation of the Prohibition of Animal Fighting, a felony; Overdriving, Torturing and Injuring Animals (Failure to Provide Proper Sustenance), a class A misdemeanor; and three counts of Possessing Animal Fighting Paraphernalia, a class B misdemeanor.

Timothy Eury, 43, of Hempstead, is charged with Violation of the Prohibition of Animal Fighting, a felony; Overdriving, Torturing and Injuring Animals (Failure to Provide Proper Sustenance), a class A misdemeanor; and Conspiracy in the Fifth Degree, a class A misdemeanor.

Charles Macwhinnie, 52, of Hampton Bays, is charged with Violation of the Prohibition of Animal Fighting, a felony, and two counts of Possessing Animal Fighting Paraphernalia, a class B misdemeanor.

Joseph Owens, 49, of Amityville, is charged with Violation of the Prohibition of Animal Fighting, a felony; Overdriving, Torturing and Injuring Animals (Failure to Provide Proper Sustenance), a class A misdemeanor; and three counts of Possessing Animal Fighting Paraphernalia, a class B misdemeanor.

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