Sunday, January 8, 2017

Florida: Deputies arrest Ruth Bryant, 44; accuse her of hosting dog fighting events at her home

FLORIDA -- The Putnam County Sheriff's Office release:

Deputies make arrest in dogfighting case from December of 2015.

On today’s date, deputies with the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Unit obtained and served a warrant for the arrest of 44-year-old Ruth Renae Bryant of Hawthorne, Florida.

The charges against Bryant result from an ongoing investigation into a dog fighting event which occurred in a wooded area near Azalea Lane in West Putnam County on December 21, 2015.

On that date Putnam deputies discovered a large group of people at what appeared to be an active, organized dog fight. Numerous individuals fled the location when law enforcement arrived. The incident initiated what became a large multi-jurisdictional investigation involving both State and Federal agencies.

Bryant is considered to be the primary facilitator of that initial fighting event. Bryant was present at the fight, owned the property upon which the fight was staged, and also appears to have been instrumental in providing other items at the location which facilitated the fight. 

Her arrest is considered to be an important step in what continues to be an ongoing investigation. The FBI has also indicted an individual, in the Sarasota area, associated with the investigation on Federal firearms charges.

In addition, charges of attending a dog fight have been forwarded to The State Attorney’s Office against 37-year-old Andrew Lee Ray of Jacksonville by the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office investigators. This investigation is still considered to be ongoing and additional arrests are anticipated.

Bryant was taken into custody without incident and taken to the Putnam County Jail where she was booked on the following three felony charges:

  • One count of causing an animal to engage in a fight with other animals
  • One count of facilitating an animal fight
  • One count of attending an animal fight

Sheriff Gator DeLoach said this case has been a longstanding issue for the Sheriff's Office and the community for over one year.

"While I understand everyone's frustration, I want the best possible outcome and prosecution, given the circumstances. Multiple law enforcement partners at the local, state and federal level contributed to what became a complex case that crossed jurisdictional and state lines, lengthening the time required to complete the investigation.

"Dogfighting is reprehensible. I am pleased we now have a partial resolution and expect more arrests in the future."


Update to story: 

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