Friday, January 14, 2011

Elgin man gets 3 years for pot plants, animal torture

By Clifford Ward, from Chicago Tribune

An Elgin man accused of keeping 108 marijuana plants and almost two-dozen aggressive pit bulls has been sentenced to three years in prison.
Alejandro Campos-Rivera, 38, pleaded guilty Friday in Kane County court to unlawful production of marijuana plants and animal torture. In addition to the prison sentence, he was fined $80,000.
He had been held in the county jail since last Feb. 19, when Elgin police executed a search warrant at his residence in the 200 block of South Liberty Street.
In addition, to the marijuana plants, officials discovered 22 dogs, many of whom showed signs of having been in fights, according to court documents.
“The defendant kept the dogs in overcrowded conditions with no food or water accessible to them,” according to court documents. “Some were malnourished, while others were so aggressive they chewed their way out of individual storage crates, subsequently attacking each other.”
Some of the dogs were so violent that police were forced to shoot them at the scene.  The remaining dogs had contracted a virus and all eventually had to be euthanized, said Assistant Kane County State’s Atty. Reagan McGuire, who prosecuted the case.
Campos-Rivera was given credit for the 174 days he has spent in the county jail awaiting trial. Based on state sentencing guidelines, he will probably serve about a year in prison.
The $80,000 fine was based on the street value of the drugs seized during the raid, McGuire said.

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