Fort Wayne man charged in multi-state dog-fighting ring

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WOWO): A Fort Wayne man is accused of being a part of a multi-state dog-fighting conspiracy.

43-year-old Dajwan Ware is one of nine people that have been charged in federal court in New Jersey with maintaining a dog fighting network. The others are:

  • Anthony “Monte” Gaines, 35, of Vineland, New Jersey (already in state custody on unrelated charges)
  • Justin Love, 36, of Westville, New Jersey
  • Lydell Harris, 30, of Vineland
  • Mario Atkinson, 40, of Asbury Park, New Jersey
  • Frank Nichols, 39, of Millville, New Jersey
  • Tiffany Burt, 34, of Vineland
  • Pedro Cuellar, 46, of Willow Springs, Illinois
  • Robert Arellano, 62, of Albuquerque, New Mexico

From October 2015 through the present, the defendants and their associates participated in dog-fighting ventures in which pit bull-type dogs were set up for matches to maul and attack each other and fight – often until one or both dogs die – and facilitated these ventures by transporting and delivering dogs between dog fighters in various states.  The federal undercover investigation revealed that the defendants discussed graphic accounts of prior dog fights they and their associates staged and furthered their dog-fighting ventures through the exchange of information concerning dog-fighting bloodlines, training methods, fighting techniques and the market for buying and selling dogs.

Federal agents found and saw evidence of the dog-fighting ventures on some of the defendants’ properties.  This included scarred dogs and dogs stacked in crates; dog fighting paraphernalia, such as dog treadmills, “flirt” poles used to build jaw strength and increase aggression and animal pelts.  Also found and seen were surgical instruments, syringes and other tools used to mend dogs in lieu of seeking veterinary attention.

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.”

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