Concord, North Carolina - A North Carolina man was sentenced Wednesday to 75 months in prison for conspiracy to commit dog fighting offenses and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Delontay Moore, 26, of Concord, pleaded guilty to the charges on July 8. According to court documents, Moore sponsored and exhibited a dog in a dog fight in December 2019, after conspiring with others to prepare and train the dog for the fight. The dog lost and died of injuries sustained during the fight. In February, agents seized 25 dogs from Moore, many of which exhibited the types of scars that are observed in dogs that are used in dog fights. They also showed evidence of gross neglect, including infections where their ears had been cropped; inflamed or infected wounds; and dehydration. On the day of the seizure, three dogs required emergency treatment, including treatment for a fractured leg with exposed bone.

The felon-in-possession charge stemmed from an investigation by the Concord Police Department. According to court documents, the Concord Police Department received an anonymous tip that Moore — who had previously been convicted of drug and weapons felonies — was storing firearms around his property. In December 2019, a detective with the Concord Police Department conducted surveillance there and saw Moore carry what proved to be an AR-15 assault style rifle behind his house and stash it under a tarp. Concord Police Department subsequently recovered the weapon during a search.

Moore was sentenced to 75 months total incarceration: 63 months on the felon in possession charge and 60 months on the conspiracy to commit dog fighting charge, which is the statutory maximum. 48 months of the conspiracy to commit dog fighting charge will run concurrent with the felon-in- possession charge and 12 months will run consecutively.

“Dog fighting is not only inhumane and brutal, but also a federal crime,” said Assistant Attorney General Todd Kim of the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division. “Shutting down this criminal industry and holding accountable those who engage in it is part of our ongoing mission.”

“This case reveals the cruel truth of dog fighting: it brutalizes and exploits animals for the sake of trivial human entertainment,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Sandra J. Hairston for the Middle District of North Carolina. “We thank the law enforcement agents who investigated the case. Through their efforts, the defendant will serve a federal prison sentence for participating in this barbarous activity and for illegal possession of a firearm.”

"The intentional infliction of pain and suffering on animals for sport is unfathomable," said Special Agent in Charge Jason Williams of the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Office of Inspector General (USDA-OIG). “We appreciate the commitment of our law enforcement partners in pursuing these individuals who choose to participate in this heinous pastime while also committing other serious offenses in our communities.”

The USDA Office of Inspector General investigated the dogfighting case, with assistance from the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office and the Concord Police Department. The felon-in-possession case was investigated by the Concord Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Ashley Waid of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of North Carolina and Trial Attorney Erica Pencak of the Justice Department’s Environmental Crimes Section prosecuted the case.