NR 15-09 Sheriff’s Office Dismantles Dog Fighting Operation
Late last night the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office uncovered and dismantled a dog fighting operation at 435 Easy Street, Merritt Island.
Sheriff’s Deputies responded to the area following a tip provided by a concerned citizen who heard what they believed was animal cruelty in progress.
Deputies found several severely malnourished dogs along with a fighting ring and visible blood on both the fighting structure and dogs. Agents from the Special Investigations, Animal Services and Crime Scene Units responded to the scene to process, collect evidence and safely rescue the animals.
Agents arrested 41-year-old Altrevius Byron of Merritt Island, who was charged with Fighting Dogs and was transported to the Brevard County Jail where he is being held on a no bond status. Byron is currently on Federal Probation and has a lengthy violent criminal history, which includes sexual battery, battery and assault on law enforcement officers, weapons, narcotics and resisting arrest charges.
Also arrested was 32-year-old Edsheina Thomas of Merritt Island, who was charged with Cruelty to Animals. Thomas was transported to the Brevard County Jail where she is held on a $500.00 bond. Thomas has a local criminal history, which includes Aggravated Child Abuse, theft, and multiple narcotics charges.
The dogs were seized and transported to the Sheriff’s Animal Services Center for emergency medical treatment. In addition to the dogs, cash and a firearm were seized. Agents will continue the investigation into this operation.
Sheriff Ivey stated, “We will continue our aggressive efforts to identify and address this abusive and repulsive behavior! I commend the citizen who notified us of the suspicious activities and our deputies for saving these animals and taking another violent criminal off the streets. To maintain pets in such deplorable conditions absolutely infuriates me. I applaud the interaction of the community for taking a stand against crime and helping us protect animals that otherwise cannot protect themselves.”
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), you can also visit http://crimeline.org/, or text ‘crimeline’ plus your tip to CRIME (274637). All information to CRIMELINE is confidential and you may be eligible for a reward.
For additional information concerning this investigations, please contact Sergeant Steve Fernez by pager through the Sheriff’s Office Communications (321) 633-7162.