Man pleads guilty to participating in Richmond dogfighting operation

RICHMOND, Va. – A Richmond man pleaded guilty to several animal fighting and animal cruelty charges in connection to a dogfighting operation in south Richmond.

Carlton Hardy, 52, was arrested at his home along the 1800 block of Ingram Avenue on February 6, 2018. Authorities seized 12 dogs that were living in deplorable conditions.

The arrest came after an officer spotted a skinny dog that might be ill or neglected on Hardy’s property. Authorities issued a search warrant to search the property.

According to evidence presented in court, investigators found dogfighting paraphernalia, scarred dogs, wound dressings, and other items associated with dogfighting on his property.

Investigators say they also found text messages, photos and videos related to dogfighting during a Forensic examination of Hardy’s phone.

Hardy pleaded guilty to five counts of animal fighting and seven counts of animal cruelty as a part of a plea deal. He had previously maintained that he did not participate in dogfighting.

The case was prosecuted by Attorney General Herring’s first in the nation Animal Law Unit. The unit serves as a training and prosecution resource for state agencies and investigators dealing with matters involving animal fighting, cruelty, and welfare.

Hardy will be sentenced on May 10, 2019.

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