UPDATE: Md. man sentenced for dogfighting, credit card fraud

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – A Maryland man was sentenced Friday to ten years in prison for engaging in dogfighting, credit card fraud, and identity theft, the U.S. Attorney’s Office says.

31-year-old Rodriguez Norman and his associates bred, trained, and exhibited dogs in organized fights where animals suffered severe bites, gashes, and other injuries, prosecutors say.

When police searched Norman’s house in August 2017, they say they found over a dozen dogs, an animal treadmill, heavy dog chains, shock collars, lunge whips, performance-enhancing animal pharmaceuticals, and medical supplies like syringes and skin staplers.

Court documents show Norman admitted that police found a fighting ring on his property that had traces of animal blood and a noose-like contraption that was used to hang dogs to build muscle.

Prosecutors say Norman continued to fight his dogs for years after law enforcement officials first contacted him about dog fighting, even though he knew that doing so was illegal.

In separate criminal activity, prosecutors say Norman helped organize and lead a conspiracy for over two years where members purchased thousands of stolen credit and debit card numbers, encoded those numbers onto fraudulent credit cards, and used those cards to buy merchandise including gift cards and cartons of cigarettes.  During the conspiracy, the group made hundreds of thousands of dollars from selling cigarette cartons to buyers from New York City.

Norman was sentenced today to 108 months in prison for his role as a ringleader in the credit card fraud and identity theft scheme, and 12 months in prison for dogfighting, officials say. He was also ordered to forfeit $143,605.