Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Man sought in dog-fighting operation

16 caged pit bulls found in Beach Park basement May 24, 2007 By JIM NEWTON jnewton@scn1.com BEACH PARK -- The nondescript house on the 12700 block of Chaplin Street had attracted the attention of neighbors because crowds would gather on certain nights, with cars sporting "fancy rims" lining the street. What neighbors on the block didn't know was that the house was allegedly being used as a major dog-fighting hub. When Lake County Sheriff's deputies entered the residence earlier this month with a search warrant following a routine well-being check, the inside of the home spoke volumes. A foul odor emanated from the door of the house, and things got worse inside. In the basement, police found 16 pit bulls in cages without food or water. The dogs were covered with cuts and scars, and blood was spattered on the walls. A fighting ring and spectator seats were also set up in the basement, according to Sgt. Timothy Jonites of the sheriff's office. "It was a large-scale, professional dog-fighting operation, one of the largest I've ever heard of or seen," Jonites said. A felony arrest warrant was issued Tuesday for Anthony L. Brown, 24, who officials said had been renting the house. Brown is wanted on charges of aggravated cruelty to animals, a Class 4 felony, dog fighting, a Class 3 felony, and unlawful possession of a weapon by a felon. The last charge was based on the discovery by officers of a loaded handgun in the house. Brown was previously convicted on charges of aggravated battery with a weapon in Grayslake, and there is evidence that he is a gang member, Jonites said. Brown is described as about 5 feet 11 inches tall and 140 pounds with brown hair and green eyes. Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to contact the sheriff's department at (847) 549-5200. Officials said he should be considered armed and dangerous. Entire story here.

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