Local News

Wake County Man Sentenced To 82 Days In Jail In Dogfighting Case

Posted January 27, 2003

— A Wake County man will serve a sentence of 82 days in jail after pleading guilty to running one of the largest dog-fighting operations in the region.

Sampson Pruitt, 29, pleaded guilty in December to four felonies, including dog fighting, animal cruelty and drug charges. He receive a nine-to-11 month suspended sentence on Monday, as well as an active jail sentence of 82 days.

Pruitt also had pleaded guilty to possession with intent to sell and deliver marijuana and maintaining a dwelling for the purpose of selling a controlled substance.

He will begin serving his jail time Friday at noon. He'll serve 27 consecutive weekends, plus one additional day.

Pruitt also received three years' supervised probation, which began Monday.

As part of his probation, Pruitt must adhere to the following conditions:

  • He must subject himself to warrantless searches of his person and residence.
  • He must not possess, board, or breed any dogs (except three older dogs that are family pets.)
  • Two misdemeanor charges against Pruitt were dismissed Monday: unauthorized practice of veterinary medicine and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

    Authorities raided Pruitt's home in November 2001 after they served him eviction papers. Deputies seized 81 pit bull terriers, several venomous snakes, a crocodile and other reptiles.

    Most of the pit bull terriers were euthanized because they suffered from a disease.

    The snakes and reptiles are being cared for by the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences, which was officially given ownership of them on Monday.

    A computer also seized during the search, and it will be returned to Pruitt.

    Also seized were several weapons, including handguns and long rifles.

    Three rifles considered family heirlooms belonged to Pruitt's father and will be returned to the father. The remainder of the guns will be destroyed.


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