JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Nearly a week after officers with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office and Animal Care and Protective Services pulled more than a dozen dogs from a Westside property, News4Jax learned Tuesday an arrest has been made.
According to the supplemental report by ACPS, Angelo Ellis, 42, is facing 72 counts of charges related to animal cruelty, animal neglect and dogfighting.
Neighbors told News4Jax on Wednesday that they long suspected noise coming from the area had something to do with dogfighting.
News4Jax spoke with Ellis at the scene Wednesday while police searched the property. At the time, he told News4Jax that he’d done nothing wrong.
News4Jax crime and safety expert Ken Jefferson said the arrest could lead to others.
“Dogfighting illegally is big business and there are a lot of people that bet on dogfighting. People breed dogs specifically for dogfighting and train them to fight. So, this just may be one part of many,” he said.
Former JSO police officer Jim Crosby is one of the nation’s leading experts on dogfighting investigations. He said many people don’t realize there’s a dogfighting pipeline involving a lot of people who try to stay under the radar.
“You got a pipeline here from Florida that goes down I-10 out to Louisiana,” Crosby said.
Police have not said whether Ellis is suspected in that pipeline.
Ellis has a documented history of run-ins with animal control over the welfare of his dogs.
As of Tuesday night, no court date had been set for his first appearance before a judge. He was held in the Duval County jail on an $81,000 bond.