Zugibe announces arrests of Ramapo men indicted on charges of animal cruelty; accused of staging dogfights for sport
Rockland County District Attorney Thomas P. Zugibe announced Wednesday that 41-year-old Ralph Cadet of 39 Greenridge Way, New Hempstead, New York and 26-year-old Tyrell Francis of 39 Greenridge Way, New Hempstead, New York were arraigned on a six-count indictment charging them with:
-Four counts of prohibited animal fighting, class “E” felonies
-Two counts of overdriving, torturing and injuring animals; failure to provide sustenance, class “A” Misdemeanors
Cadet and Francis are accused of staging a dog fight for the purpose of entertainment inside their home. Zugibe did not confirm whether gambling was part of the spectacle. District Attorney Zugibe said, “This type of activity is neither a sport nor a hobby, but a particularly merciless crime. My prosecutors take a strong stand against animal cruelty. We are committed to aggressively enforcing a number of state laws aimed at protecting animals from harm.”
When investigators executed search warrants at that location, they recovered nine Pit Bull terriers and observed other evidence of dog fighting, including a length of rope used to strengthen a dog’s jaw muscles. The dogs, found roaming the house from cages, ranged in age from seven-month-old puppies to three years and were in varying stages of health. At least one of the animals had scars on her front leg and face. It is alleged that the dogfighting occurred between January, 2012 and April, 2012 inside 39 Greenridge Way.
The indictment is the result of an investigation conducted by the Rockland County Drug Task Force, the Rockland County Computer Crimes Task Force, the Hudson Valley Humane Society, the Ramapo Police Department Street Crime Unit and the Rockland County Special Investigations Unit. The defendants were previously indicted in an ongoing narcotics investigation, during which the animal abuse was uncovered.
According to the charges, at least one dogfight was captured on video. The animals were removed and placed in the custody and control of the Hudson Valley Human Society, where they received medical treatment and were evaluated for adoption, if possible.
The most serious offense, prohibited animal fighting, is punishable by a maximum sentence of up to four years in prison and/or a fine of up to $25,000.
Francis was arrested and arraigned on September 20, 2012 in the Rockland County Court by the Honorable William K. Nelson and remanded on $25,000 bail. Cadet was arrested and arraigned today, October 16, 2012, in the Rockland County Court by the Honorable William K. Nelson and remanded on $10,000.
They are due to return to court on Dec. 4, 2012 at 9:30 a.m. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Robert Trudell and Executive Assistant District Attorney Gary Lee Heavner.