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Government Agency News ICE breaking news

Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Tampa assisted the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of Inspector General (USDA-OIG) during an investigation to target a local dogfighting organization.

After a search warrant for the suspect’s dogfighting compound was approved, HSI Tampa discovered an arena where the dogfighting took place. Suspects would gather around to wager on the animals in the makeshift fighting ring. The investigation revealed that a suspect in Tampa Bay was directly involved in the purchase, sale, possession, training and transporting of dogs for participation in dogfighting. Special agents rescued 10 dogs, seized seven cellphones and arrested a suspect.

“It’s reprehensible these criminals would take advantage of these incredibly strong dogs and use them as money-making machines,” said HSI Tampa Supervisory Special Agent Phillip Chaves. “We are very proud of the law enforcement partnerships we have to rescue these dogs from animals who would spill their blood for sport and money.”

Congress has assigned USDA-OIG to enforce the Animal Welfare Act, which sets standards for humane care and treatment that must be provided for certain animals. HSI Tampa computer forensic analysts are conducting all the digital forensic examinations for the investigation.

ICE breaking news HSI Tampa, USDA-OIG partner to bust dogfighting operation Government Agency News