(01/15/2016)
A Kearneysville man has admitted his role in a dog fighting operation.

Fifty-four-year-old Steven Curtis Jennings plead guilty Tuesday in federal court in Martinsburg, a rare charge that happens in the Mountain State.

Twenty-one Pit Bulls were recovered following an early morning raid by the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department on the dog fighting kennel.

Jennings faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Jefferson County deputies, with assistance from the Humane Society of the United States and Jefferson County Animal Control officers, the seizure.

Police say deputies found equipment used for training and facilitating fights, as well as dog crates and scales for weighing the dogs, so as to be able to match them up for fights.

While searching the property, deputies located the Pit Bulls in a wooded area behind the house, where they were kept chained to logs and housed in plastic barrels.

The Humane Society checked the dogs and discovered 14 of them had scars on their neck, face and fore legs consistent with dog fighting, according to police.

The dogs were handed over to the Humane Society for shelter and medical attention, none which which will euthanized.

In December, 2010, the confiscation of dog fighting apparatus and dogs at the Edward Barrera property south of Arnoldsburg, resulted in a case against the 87-year-old man, who died shortly thereafter.

Janette Reever, deputy manager of the animal fighting law enforcement unit of the Humane Society of the United States, said Barrera was previously involved in dog fighting. She called him a "well-known figure" in the dog-fighting scene.

See related story 2010 FLASHBACK: DOG FIGHTING EQUIPMENT CONFISCATED FROM BARRERA PROPERTY - Bloody Pit Bull Fighting On Property


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