COLUMBUS (WCMH)–A Columbus man pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to two charges related to a dog fighting ring found on the west side of the city in April.
Charles A. Granberry, 40, pleaded guilty to conspiring to participate in a dog fighting ring, and to illegally possessing a firearm.
Dozens of dogs were seized at five different Columbus homes, back in April, and several people were arrested.
Authorities said Granberry is just the tip of the iceberg, conspiring with others in an interstate operation to train, fight and sell dogs that were also used for gambling.
In April, 20 pit bull terriers were taken out of a house on Clarendon Avenue. In one backyard, investigators found car axles embedded in the ground with heavy chains to hold dogs in place. Other devices were used to train them to fight.
“The biggest one that garnished the most attention is the treadmills that they strapped the dogs onto, strapped the collar to, sometimes the dog can run for hours on it,” said Elysse Rathbone, a Humane Agent for the Capital Area Humane Society.
The Capital Area Humane society rescued 40 dogs in all, but only half were adopted out.
“A little over 20 dogs were adopted out, the others were euthanized for either their behavior or temperament or medical concerns,” Rathbone said.
Granberry admitted to dog training and being part of a fighting ring. Now, federal authorities say they are taking a bigger part in stopping dog fighting rings.
“This the first time we have done a dog fighting case federally. This has long been an emphasis of county prosecutors’ offices, the humane society and department of agriculture,” said Mike Marouse, Asst. US Attorney for the Southern District.
Granberry’s attorney says he is sorry.
“He very much regrets and he want to move on and he entered a plea today taking responsibility for his actions, and he is not ever going to do it again he tells me,” said Defense Attorney Joe Landusky.
Granberry could serve as much as 15 years in prison for his part. A federal judge will sentence him after a pre-sentence investigation.