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Dogs and Drugs

It’s a chicken and egg thing. Which comes first when someone treads the path of illegal activity?

Last week, when police were called to investigate an illegal dog fighting complaint, they discovered more than ten ounces of “high grade marijuana” and the usual handgun. Three were arrested for the weed and one got an addition charge with felony dog fighting and having dog fighting paraphernalia. The paraphernalia included two treadmills, used to exercise and train the dogs. Eight pit bull terriers were confiscated by animal control. The marijuana has a street value over two thousand dollars.

These arrests come on the heels of last month’s huge bust of a dog fighting ring that nabbed fifty people and led to further arrests as far away as California. In that instance, weapons and money were seized, along with eighty motor vehicles. No drugs were mentioned in that case.

The classic dog fighting scenario is one of people who are clearly and knowingly violating the law. There can be no doubt about knowing or not knowing what is going on is flagrantly illegal. Participants paid $100 each to attend the event last month and they certainly knew dog fighting is a felony.

So maybe it isn’t such a big step to add drugs into the mix. Or perhaps it works the other way around – someone is involved in drugs and discovers another way to make some illegal money through dog fighting. In the end, it just becomes a mess, and a sad mess at that.

These are not addicts we are talking about. Unless they are addicted to gambling. The whole point of both the drugs and the dogs is to make money. And because both drugs and dog fighting are clearly illegal, there’s a shared culture between the activities. Living outside the law marks someone taking the same risks as another criminal, and each knows enough about the other to create a kind of trust built from being vulnerable to arrest.

The only upside might be that imprisoning someone for one crime will interfere with the practice of whatever other crimes they’ve taken on.

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