Police tracked the suspect’s movements with a GPS device, which led them to the dogs’ scattered locations.
A Pitt bull that was used for dogfighting was shown to the media during a press conference at the Minneapolis Animal Care & Control. Officers from Minneapolis Animal Care & Control, the Minneapolis Police Department, and other law enforcement agencies found 15 pit bulls, two guns, narcotics, dog fighting paraphernalia, and a dog fighting training manual while executing 10 search warrants at addresses that are all connected to a suspected dog fighter.
A Minneapolis man was charged Friday with orchestrating a dogfighting ring, allegedly using chains and padlocks to imprison the animals in eight locations in or near the city, breeding them and training them for battle.
Leroy Longs Jr., 34, was charged in Hennepin County District Court with animal fighting, a felony, after his movements were tracked by police using a GPS device. He remains jailed in lieu of $15,000 bail.
Police raids Wednesday as part of an 18-month investigation netted authorities 18 pit bulls, a dogfighting training manual and other paraphernalia in connection with the underground illicit sport that authorities said can pay a winner $15,000 for one fight.
In addition to the dogs found at seven locations in Minneapolis and one in New Hope, police said they found drugs and two guns.
Longs unwittingly gave police a precise road map of his incriminating movements, according to the criminal complaint, because Sgt. Lindsay Herron had a GPS device placed on his vehicle.
“Based on that,” the complaint read, “she was able to identify eight locations [the] defendant visited on a regular basis.”
The seven Minneapolis addresses where dogs were found are: 2918 Girard Av. N., both units; 1730 Oliver Av. N.; 2101 6th St. N.; 3750 Bryant Av. N.; 3310 6th St. N.; 1114 21st Av. N., and 3106 Irving Av. N. Dogs also were found at 7819 Angeline Dr. in New Hope.
Longs was arrested at his workplace Wednesday. His criminal history includes convictions for assaults, drugs, disorderly conduct and unlawful assembly.
Officers from Minneapolis police, animal control and other agencies seized 13 adult dogs and five puppies, which are being held at Minneapolis Animal Care & Control during the investigation. One dog was pregnant and others showed signs of just having had litters, the complaint said.
Police said that many of the animals were scarred from multiple wounds and that they believe some dogs have been killed.
The dogs were kept outside, on dirt, with minimal food and water. Each dog was in its own kennel, with a doghouse. Each also was padlocked at the neck to a chain that was embedded deep underground in concrete or on a tire iron. Most of the kennels were padlocked shut.
“It appeared to [Herron] as though the dogs lived 24 hours per day in these kennels,” the complaint continued.
Herron also recovered a stick with teeth marks on it, which is known as a “bite stick” and is used to train dogs to fight.
A veterinarian is evaluating the seized dogs and testing their temperaments to see whether they are fit for adoption.
Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482