Thursday, June 19, 2014

Animal Welfare: West Virginia - Man sentenced to 20 years in prison for operating dog fighting venture

U.S. Attorney’s Office 
Northern District of West Virginia

MARTINSBURG, WV—A West Virginia man who operated a dog fighting venture has been sentenced to 20 years in federal prison.

United States Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld, II announced that TIMOTHY PAUL STEWART, age 35, of Piedmont, was sentenced to serve 240 months in prison as a result of his convictions earlier this year for possession of dogs for dog fighting, conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine, and being a felon in possession of a firearm. U.S. District Court Judge Gina M. Groh presided.

According to U.S. Attorney Ihlenfeld, in October of 2013 agents served a federal drug trafficking indictment upon STEWART at his Mineral County home, as well as multiple search warrants. While in the basement of STEWART’s residence, agents observed evidence of an animal fighting venture including dogs, dog pelts, cages, and training equipment for the dogs. Officers also observed and seized approximately 25 grams of cocaine base, seven firearms and $3,968 in U.S. currency. The cash recovered was forfeited to the United States as part of the plea agreement.

STEWART’s girlfriend, Shannon Marie BROADWATER, 33 years old and also of Piedmont, was sentenced by Judge Groh to 36 months in prison for her role in the sale of crack cocaine. She had previously been convicted of illegal use of the Internet to facilitate the distribution of crack cocaine.

This case was investigated by the Potomac Highlands Drug & Violent Crime Task Force, consisting of officers from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the West Virginia State Police-Bureau of Criminal Investigations.