PONTIAC - A Michigan man has pleaded guilty to transporting dogs for fighting in Livingston County.
Dante L. Effinger, 33 of Detroit, Mich., entered a blind plea on two counts of transporting two dogs believed to be used in fighting, which is a Class 4 felony. He also pleaded guilty of attending a dog fight, which is a misdemeanor.
On Sept. 10 and 11, Cook County authorities followed people believed to be involved in dog fighting to a home at 5905 East 1100 North Road, rural gridley. Officials broke up the dog fighting and made 10 arrests, police said.
The property owner, Robert D. Chapman II, 32, of Gridley, also faces several charges in the incident, including allowing people use buildings on his property to fight dogs and destroying evidence. Chapman is set to have a bench trail in February.
Effinger was stopped while he was leaving the property. Police searched his sport utility vehicle and found two dogs caged in the back.
When police removed a blanket that covered the cages, the dogs tried to fight each other through the cages, which is common among dogs trained to fight, authorities said. One of the dogs looked to be exhausted and had fresh wounds on its face.
Effinger, who entered his plea last week, is due back in court in February for sentencing. A blind plea means the person admits guilt without a prearranged sentencing arrangement.
At the same hearing, the court will review a request to have his vehicle forfeited. Authorities can seize vehicles used in certain crimes.
Of the 10 men arrested, all were from Chicago or Detroit, Mich., except for Chapman. Most were charged with attending a dog fight, which is a misdemeanor.
Authorities also seized 14 dogs in the incident. One was returned to Chapman, who said it was a family pet.