A Freeport man with three prior convictions for dogfighting was sentenced Friday in a fourth case to 1 1⁄3 to 4 years in prison for his role in training pit bulls for use in an illegal dogfighting ring, Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas said.
Anthony Reddick, 55, was sentenced to 1 1⁄3 to 4 years in prison for his involvement in what prosecutors called a lucrative criminal operation in which pit bulls were bred and trained to attack one another in high-stakes matches with sometimes thousands of dollars wagered. At least one dog died as a result of the crimes, according to the indictment and officials.
The Nassau County police Narcotics-Vice Bureau arrested Reddick May 13, 2015.
“Anthony Reddick has relentlessly participated in the violent criminal enterprise of dogfighting for nearly two decades,” Singas said in a statement. “His sentence, though the maximum allowable by law, should put the public and the legislature on notice that our state desperately needs to enhance the penalties for such atrocious acts. My office has long lobbied for such change, proposing legislation year after year, and will continue to push for reform until serial dogfighters, like Reddick, balance their decades of crime with decades in prison.”
Reddick pleaded guilty May 24 in State Supreme Court to one count of felony prohibition of animal fighting and second-degree criminal contempt, an A-class misdemeanor, for violating a court order to avoid contact with animals from a previous sentencing, according to a news release Friday from Singas’ office. As part of the latest sentence, Reddick has again been barred from having any contact with animals for 15 years.
Steven Barnwell, Reddick’s attorney, did not immediately return a call for comment on the sentencing.
According to the indictment unsealed in October, Reddick from March 29 to May 13, 2015, was part of a ring in which “bait dogs” would have their mouths stitched shut, allowing other pit bulls to maul them during training sessions, while some were fed muscle-building supplements to enhance performance.
Reddick’s first conviction was in 1998 for misdemeanor dogfighting in Nassau; his second in 2001 for felony dogfighting in Suffolk County, officials have said.
In the 2014 case, a fire at Reddick’s home in Freeport led officials to discover a training facility that included modified treadmills. Thirteen abused pit bulls died in the garage fire. Reddick pleaded guilty to multiple dogfighting counts and was sentenced to 1 to 3 years in prison, but was paroled on March 5, 2015, after serving five months in an upstate facility, officials have said.
Within weeks of his release, Reddick circled back to involve himself again in the business.
At least 14 others were arrested and charged with various crimes in connection with the same investigation into dogfighting and drug dealing in Nassau, authorities said at the time. Law enforcement officials, in an effort named Operation Blood Sport, spent five months investigating dogfighting and drug dealing in the county and in the process rescued 11 dogs, including two newborn puppies. The ring was overseen by Bloods gang crews based in Freeport and Roosevelt, where they sold heroin and prescription drugs as part of the criminal enterprise, officials had said.
Shaheem Allen, Reddick’s co-defendant, was also convicted and sentenced for dogfighting and heroin charges in March. His attorney, Dana Grossblatt, could not immediately be reached for comment Saturday.
Keith Salley, known as Slay, was among those arrested; Salley pleaded guilty on June 16 to five felony counts of prohibition of animal fighting for his role in breeding, training and fighting the put bulls that were used “for amusement or gain,” the news release said. Salley is due in court for sentencing on Aug. 11.
“He’s accepted responsibility and he’s moving on with his life,” Michael DerGarabedian, Salley’s attorney, of Rockville Centre, said when reached by phone.