NR 14-100 Sheriff’s Office Dismantles Dog Fighting Operation
The Brevard County Sheriff’s Office uncovered and dismantled a dog fighting operation in West Cocoa earlier today, as Sheriff’s Agents executed a narcotics search warrant at 6752 Airboat Avenue, Cocoa, Florida.
The Search Warrant yielded five pounds of marijuana, a cache of steroids and two loaded firearms as Agents furthered a narcotics investigation for the sale of illegal drugs from this residence. During the service of the warrant, Agents located evidence of animal cruelty and an extensive dog fighting operation.
Agents found dogs chained with short heavy steel chains used to build muscle to make the fighting dogs stronger. They had little to no shelter, food or water. Agents also found unsanitary needles, steroids, antibiotics, and antiseptic wound treatment used to treat wounds sustained from dog fights.
Additionally located on the property was a large garage that was converted with insulated walls to muffle the noise along with an arena built inside to facilitate dog fights, including chairs for spectators. The arena included bloody carpet and walls, which was clear evidence of where the dog fighting was taking place.
Sheriff’s Office Animal Control Services responded to the scene along with Crime Scene Investigators to process the scene, collect evidence and safely rescue 8 dogs.
Sheriffs Agents arrested 40-year-old Siricia Antwan Mitchell for felony possession of cannabis, possession with intent to sell cannabis, 2 counts of possession of firearm by convicted felon, possession of a controlled substance and the possession of ammunition by convicted felon. Multiple cruelties to Animal charges are pending as agents further investigate the dog fighting operation.
Mitchell has a lengthy criminal history dating back to 2000, which includes multiple weapons charges, narcotics charges, attempted murder of a law enforcement officer, aggravated assault and battery of law enforcement officers, resisting arrest, fleeing and eluding law enforcement, and cruelty to animals.
Mitchell currently has an active injunction for a similar incident in 2009 where approximately 40 dogs were removed from the same residence and Mitchell is prohibited from owning or possessing dogs. The dogs seized today were voluntarily released by the owner and were taken immediately to the Sheriff’s Office Animal Shelter for evaluation, medical treatment, rehabilitation, and hopefully with positive and caring attention, an adoption by a loving family.
Sheriff Ivey stated “Our Agents have done an incredible job by taking another violent criminal off the streets. The deplorable conditions and environment these poor animals were subjected to sickened me. This individual has a long and violent history of dealing drugs, possessing firearms and dog fighting and hopefully this time he will be placed in prison where he belongs. Again, I applaud our Agents for their hard work and making your community safer!”
Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to call the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office Special Investigations Unit at 321-633-1216 or Central Florida CRIMELINE at 1-800-423-TIPS (8477). All calls to CRIMELINE are confidential, and callers can remain anonymous and be eligible for a reward for information leading to arrests.
For additional information concerning this investigations, please contact Sergeant Steve Fernez by pager through the Sheriff’s Office Communications (321) 633-7162.