NJ considers charging dog fighters like mobsters

    Organizers of dog fighting networks could face increased penalties in New Jersey.

    Photo Credit: Courtesy: RSPCA

    Organizers of dog fighting networks could face increased penalties in New Jersey.

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    [audio: 091230pgdog.mp3]

    New Jersey’s RICO statute, commonly used against mobsters would be used to prosecute dog fighting rings if a proposal by State Senator Jeff Van Drew is enacted. The current penalty of up to 5 years in prison would be increased to 20 years. Van Drew says organized dog fighting is unacceptable behavior.

    Van Drew: Not only does it involve the actual dog fighting, but there’s money laundering, drugs, sometimes money that comes from prostitution and extortion and other areas are actually laundered through dog fighting.

    State Attorney General Anne Milgram is not sure the RICO statue should be extended to prosecute dog fighting.

    Milgram: The question I would have is whether that’s necessary, whether we could get at the same kind of conduct through conspiracy.

    VanDrew says he’s willing to examine any appropriate way to increase dog fighting penalties.

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