An animal control official could face prison time after he admitted to giving veterinary medicines to the leader of a Chicago dogfighting ring that also extended into several other states. On Friday, Martin Jakubowski plead guilty to diverting antibiotics to a man who he knew to be involved in dogfighting.
Jakubowski was the acting Superintendent of Animal Control and Parks for the city of Whiting, Ind., CBS Chicago reports. He was selling or giving the drugs to Pedro Cuellar, who recently admitted to running a dogfighting ring that spanned from New Mexico to New Jersey. In total, nine men and women were charged with running the operation, NJ.com reported.
While overseeing Whiting’s animal control shelter, Jakubowski moved the drugs to Cuellar, who used them to keep his dogs healthy. The former city official also admitted to housing Cuellar’s dogs in the shelter at various points between 2011 and 2016. Two pit bull-type dogs were moved from the shelter into Cuellar’s possession without the proper paperwork — likely with the understanding that the dogs would be used in fights. The drugs were purchased by the animal shelter.
Jakubowski’s case is part of a larger operation, termed “Operation Grand Champion,” undertaken by the justice department. Acting Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey Wood gave the following statement:
Justice is being delivered in these cases. Ending animal fighting ventures and other inhumane practices depends upon the hard work of investigators and lawyers like those who brought these cases, and will also require continued partnership with federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies. Our Division is proud to be a leader in this worthy cause.
Jakubowski’s sentencing date is set for Nov. 17.