Case Snapshot
Case ID: 9873
Classification: Fighting
Animal: dog (pit-bull)
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Attorneys/Judges
Judge(s): Mat Heck Jr.


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Wednesday, Oct 25, 2006

County: Montgomery

Charges: Felony CTA
Disposition: Convicted
Case Images: 4 files available

Defendants/Suspects:
» Ennis Paul Lungs
» Eric A. Lewis

Case Updates: 17 update(s) available

Two men were arrested on Oct 25 on charges associated with dog fighting after Montgomery County Animal Resource officers and Dayton police confiscated 39 pit bulls from a house at 43 Boltin St., according to a police report.

Police are investigating whether the dogs were being used in a possible dog-fighting operation.

The men, ages 44 and 41, were booked into the Montgomery County Jail, pending the dog-fighting charges, having weapons while under disability, possession of criminal tools, and possession of drug abuse instruments, the report said.

The 41-year-old man, who lives in Beaumont, Texas, told police he transported the pit bulls in crates inside a minivan from Texas to Dayton and that he sells dogs, the report said.

Montgomery County Animal Resource Center Director Mark Kumpf was at the Boltin Street scene. In his report, Dayton Det. Keith Coberly stated, "Some of the dogs had their ears chewed completely off."

Police also found several firearms, "numerous bottles of injectable substances and a hypodermic needle," a backpack containing $4,480, a money order made out to one of the men for $750, underground dog-fighting publications, a "slap mill," which is a non-motorized dog treadmill used for dog cardiovascular conditioning by people who train fighting dogs, and a photograph of a female dog strapped to a "rape rack," which is a homemade contraption used for breeding that prevents the female from warding off male dogs, according to the police report.


Case Updates

The court of appeals for Montgomery County has affirmed the conviction of Eric Lewis on dog fighting charges, and the county prosecutor wants Lewis to start serving his one-year prison sentence.

Lewis was convicted of 14 counts of dog fighting and three counts of possessing criminal tools on Nov. 30, 2007, just before his trial was to start.

The judge sentenced Lewis to one year in prison, but Lewis was released on an appeal bond pending the outcome of his appeal.

"We are asking the court to take (Lewis) to take him into custody and take him to the penitentiary so he can begin his sentence," said Montgomery County Prosecutor Mat Heck Jr. in a statement.
Source: Daytona Daily News - Jan 21, 2009
Update posted on Jan 21, 2009 - 8:09PM 
A Montgomery County Common Pleas Judge sentenced two men convicted of dogfighting-related charges to prison terms, but allowed them to remain free on bond while they appeal their sentences.

Judge Jeffrey Froelich sentenced Ennis Lungs of Beaumont, Texas to 18 months in prison. Froelich sentenced Eric A. Lewis of Dayton to a year in prison.

The two were arrested Oct. 26, 2006 at Lewis' home, 43 Boltin St., after Dayton police drove through an alley and spotted a large number of pit bulls in Lungs' minivan and Lewis' yard, according to Montgomery County prosecutors.

The arrests were part of several arrests and searches in late 2006 that ultimately led to 72 pit bulls being confiscated.

The two were to go on trial together starting Dec. 3, but Lewis pleaded no contest on Nov. 30 to 14 dogfighting counts and three counts of possessing criminal tools.

Lungs went to trial, but after three days of testimony he decided to plead no contest to 25 counts of possessing a dog for dogfighting and two counts of possessing criminal tools.

Froelich also ordered the two men to pay $50,000 each in restitution to the Montgomery County Animal Resource Center, where the dogs were taken and held. Most of the dogs have since been euthanized.

Attorney John Rion, who represented Lungs, said his client was merely a dog transporter who was not involved in any illegal activity and would appeal the convictions.

"Ennis Lungs was caring for those animals," Rion said. "He cherishes animals."
Source: Dayton Daily News - March 20, 2008
Update posted on Mar 21, 2008 - 1:31AM 
A Beaumont, Texas man on trial for dogfighting-related charges pleaded no contest to all counts Wednesday morning, as his trial was entering the third day.

Ennis Lungs, 42, will be sentenced Jan. 16 by Montgomery County Common Pleas Judge Jeffrey Froelich.

Lungs and Eric A. Lewis were arrested Oct. 26, 2006 at Lewis' home, 43 Boltin St, after police drove through an alley and spotted a large number of pit bulls in Lungs' minivan and Lewis' yard, according to Montgomery County prosecutors.

Lungs pleaded no contest to 25 counts of possessing a dog for dogfighting and two counts of possessing criminal tools.

On Friday, Lewis pleaded no contest to 14 dogfighting counts and three counts of possessing criminal tools. He will be sentenced Jan. 2 by Froelich.

Lungs' attorney John Rion told the jury Monday that Lungs had a business transporting dogs, but was not involved in dogfighting activity.
Source: Dayton Daily News - Dec 5, 2007
Update posted on Dec 5, 2007 - 2:41PM 
Two Dayton police officers testified they could identify one of the dogs they found in a minivan because of one gruesome characteristic: "One of them didn't have any ears whatsoever," said one, Officer Jon Zimmerman.

Minivan owner Ennis Lungs, 42, of Beaumont, Texas, is on trial in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court on 25 counts of possessing a dog for dogfighting and two counts possessing criminal tools.

Co-defendant Eric A. Lewis, 45, of 43 Boltin St., pleaded no contest Friday to 14 dogfighting counts and three of possessing criminal tools. He will be sentenced Jan. 2 by Judge Jeffrey Froelich, who is Lungs' trial judge.

Both were arrested Oct. 26, 2006, after police said they seized 13 dogs from the home and 26 from the van.

Zimmerman and Officer Ronald Velez told the court they were on patrol in the alley behind Boltin when they drove past Lewis' backyard and noticed dogs in kennels in Lungs' minivan, in kennels in the yard and still others on leashes attached to a fence.

Sgt. Brian Johns testified that Lungs told him he was merely a transporter of dogs and not involved in dogfighting.

"He then stated 'I don't do that anymore,' " Johns said.

Under cross-examination by Lungs' attorney, John Rion, Johns said Lungs offered no other details.

"Did he possess the dogs?" Rion said. "Yeah, but not for dogfighting."
Source: Dayton Daily News - Dec 4, 2007
Update posted on Dec 5, 2007 - 1:07PM 
Eric Lewis pleaded no contest Friday to dogfighting charges. He is scheduled to be sentenced in January, and he could be sentenced to 24 years in prison.
Source: WHIO-TV - Nov 30, 2007
Update posted on Dec 4, 2007 - 12:02AM 
The case involving the seizure of nearly 40 pit bull dogs last October went before a judge Friday. The dogs, most of them puppies, were taken by police on Boltin Street.

The owner of the dog learned in court that 25 have already been euthanized.

Now his attorney said he is fighting to have the remaining pit bulls returned to the owner.

"It's our belief the court should not release these animals back into the public as they are dangerous and vicious animals," Montgomery County prosecutor Jon Scott said.

Judge Jeffrey Froelich delayed making a decision, saying he wants to research the case further.

There has not been another hearing date set yet.

Meanwhile, the 13 remaining pit bulls are being kept at the Montgomery County Resource Center.
Source: WHIO YV - March 31, 2007
Update posted on Apr 2, 2007 - 10:59PM 
Montgomery County may have to release some confiscated pit bull dogs to their owners, according to Amy Wiedeman, director of administrative services.

No official orders have been filed, but Wiedeman said comments made by County Common Pleas Judge Jeffrey Froelich in court on Thursday indicate he may order some of the pit bulls released.

Froelich is hearing a case involving felony dog fighting charges against Eric Lewis, 45, and Ennis P. Lungs, 41, both of Dayton. The two were charged after Dayton police raided a home and van on Boltin Street in October and confiscated 39 pit bulls.

On Thursday, Froelich granted a continuation on the defendants motion to suppress evidence in the case.

His bailiff, Lois Tipton, said he would file a written decision on the case but declined to say when it would occur or what the ruling would be.

The county's Animal Resource Center is holding 59 pit bull dogs confiscated last year by Dayton police in dog fighting investigations that led to charges against five men.

There had been 72 dogs but in January county officials euthanized a a dozen - four from the Boltin Avenue raid - that were deemed too dangerous for employees to handle. One other pit bull has since been euthanized because of illness, said Center Director Mark Kumpf. As of January the county had spent about $60,000 housing the dogs as the cases against the five men make their way through court.

No pit bulls can be released for adoption because state law defines them as "vicious" and county policy prohibits adoption of dogs with that classification, Kumpf said.
Source: Dayton Daily News - March 23, 3007
Update posted on Mar 24, 2007 - 5:14PM 
Montgomery County officials say they want to destroy the 72 American pit bulls confiscated in dogfighting investigations of five Dayton men last year.

In December, County Prosecutor Mathias Heck's office asked for court approval to do so.

But late last week, the county withdrew that motion, saying the case was not properly before the court and noting that there had been no defense request to preserve the animals for "evidentiary value."

Carley Ingram, chief of the prosecutor's appellate division, would not comment on whether she believes the county can destroy the dogs without court permission, but she said euthanizing them would not impair the defense.

John H. Rion, who represents two of the men charged, said the defendants want to keep the dogs alive. After the county withdrew its motion, attorneys for all five filed requests to preserve the evidence.

The Dayton men facing felony dogfighting and other charges are Ennis P. Lungs, 41; Eric A. Lewis, 44; Simon J. Denby, 33; Louis Snowden-Davis, 37; and Donyell C. Moschetti, 35.

No trial date has been set.

Meanwhile, the dogs remain caged at the Montgomery County Animal Resource Center. When county officials invited the media to visit the shelter and see the dogs on Wednesday, Rion accused county officials of attempting to "contaminate" jurors.

"They're trying to prejudice a jury with their dog and pony show," Rion said. "I think they're trying to accomplish two things. One, contaminate the jury pool, and try to get some grass-roots support for the genocide (of the dogs)."

Laura Kursman, spokeswoman for the county, said the invitations were an effort to efficiently respond to media requests about the case. Resource Center Director Mark Kumpf said publicity about the dogs has helped raise awareness and calls to the center about abuse of animals.
Source: Dayton Daily News - Jan 18, 2007
Update posted on Jan 18, 2007 - 11:41AM 
Eric A. Lewis, Ennis P. Lungs, Donyell Moschetti, and Louis Snowden-Davis are all due back in court within the next month. The four suspects, connected to a dog-fighting ring, face more than 150 criminal counts stemming from a raid conducted last fall. In October, Montgomery County Animal Resource officers and Dayton Police confiscated 39 pit bulls from a house at 43 Boltin St. Several weapons were found, along with cash, veterinary supplies, and other paraphernalia indicating the presence of illegal animal fighting. Many of the dogs were covered with cuts, bruises, and scars. Moschetti returns to court for a motion to suppress hearing on January 9, 2007 at 2:15 p.m. Snowden-Davis next appears on January 16 at 1:30 p.m. Lewis and Lungs are scheduled for a hearing on February 2 at 1:30 p.m. Proceedings will be heard at the Montgomery County Courthouse, located at 41 N. Perry St., in Dayton, Ohio.
Update posted on Jan 6, 2007 - 7:18PM 
Investigators say someone deliberately set a Dayton fire that put a family of six out of their home and left a firefighter with second degree burns.

The blaze broke out on East Lincoln Avenue Sunday afternoon. Neighbors say they feared for the five children who lived there with their father, so they ran inside to make sure they were out.

"He's a good friend of ours and he's got kids. We didn't know if they were in there," said Caroline Morgan.

Fortunately, the house was empty, but Morgan says she knew something was wrong. "We kicked the door in, and gas, that's all we smelled," she said.

Investigators confirm they found gasoline spread throughout the house, and several spots where fires were set.

Flames were confined to the upstairs, but while fighting the fire, one firefighter suffered second degree burns. He was treated and released from a local hospital.

The fire is just the latest setback for homeowner Louis Snowden-Davis. He was arraigned just ten days ago on charges of animal cruelty and dog fighting.

Snowden-Davis was questioned about Sunday's fire. Police say they are looking for suspects and a motive.

Meantime, the family is staying with relatives.

Damage to the house and its contents is estimated at 60 thousand dollars.
Source: WHIO - Nov 26, 2006
Update posted on Nov 27, 2006 - 1:50AM 
A man pleaded not guilty Thursday to charges he turned dogs into fighters.

Louis Snowden-Davis is charged with 16 counts of dogfighting and 11 counts of cruelty to animals.

He's one of three men arrested after police found 39 pit bulls, cash and medicine used to treat injured animals in a Dayton home last month.

The judge set bond at $10,000.
Source: WHIOTV - Nov 16, 2006
Update posted on Nov 27, 2006 - 1:48AM 
Eric A. Lewis and Ennis P. Lungs return to court on 11/22/06 for a scheduling conference.
Update posted on Nov 16, 2006 - 12:48PM 
The Montgomery County Court arraigned another man in the alleged dog-fighting ring on Nov 8. Eric Lewis, 44, remains behind bars after pleading not guilty to 14 counts of dog fighting and three counts of possessing criminal tools. The judge set Lewis' bond at $100,000.
Source: WHIOTV - Nov 9, 2006
Update posted on Nov 9, 2006 - 10:12AM 
Three suspects, connected to a dog-fighting ring, face more than 150 criminal counts.

Police said the men were using the dogs to fight for money and said when they arrested the suspects, they found the dogs, cash and medicines they were using to treat the dogs after fighting them.

The dogs are now at the Montgomery County Animal Resource Center.

On Tuesday, Donyell Moschetti and Ennis Lungs appeared in court.

Police said some of the dogs were covered with cuts and bruises that prove that the men were using them in a cruel way, pitting one against another.

But attorney Jon Rion said his clients are being singled out.

All three men were given a $100,000 bond, but Rion said at least one of his clients will be released shortly after he is formally charged.
Source: WHIOTV - Nov 7, 2006
Update posted on Nov 7, 2006 - 10:46AM 
Donyell C. Moschetti, 35, of 177 Anna St. and Eric A. Lewis, 44, of 43 Boltin St. were arrested Friday, Dayton police Sgt. Harold Perry said. They are in the county jail without bond.

The Montgomery County Prosecutor's Office issued arrest warrants after a grand jury last week returned indictments against five men - including Moschetti and Lewis - believed to have been involved in dog-fighting operations that Dayton police are investigating.

Moschetti's indictment accuses him on 31 counts of dog-fighting, 10 counts of possession of criminal tools and 11 counts of cruelty to companion animals, according to court records. Lewis' indictment accuses him of 14 counts of dog-fighting and three counts of possession of criminal tools.
Source: Dayton Daily News - Nov 7, 2006
Update posted on Nov 7, 2006 - 5:19AM 
Two men arrested last week stemming from a possible dog-fighting operation at 43 Boltin St. have been charged in Municipal Court with dog fighting, according to court records.

Ennis P. Lungs, 41, of Beaumont, Texas, and Eric A. Lewis, 44, of the Boltin Street address, each face eight counts of the fourth-degree felony.

Lungs was booked into the Montgomery County Jail in lieu of a $750,000 bond. Lewis posted $5,045 in bail.

Police on Oct. 25 confiscated firearms, bottles of injectable substances, dog-fighting publications, a non-motorized dog treadmill and other items.
Source: Dayton Daily News - Oct 31, 2006
Update posted on Nov 1, 2006 - 2:32PM 
Montgomery County's Animal Resource Center is housing 39 additional pit bulls that were seized by the Dayton Police Department on October 25th. Due to the overcrowding of the shelter as well as the special needs of these dogs, the Animal Resource Center will not be open to the public for adoptions or stray drop off on Saturday, October 28th.

At this time, the Animal Resource Center is operating in an "emergency operations mode" and responding to the needs of the seized dogs. Space and resource constraints are leading the Director to request that all people coming across strays are encouraged to seek the owners or shelter the dog on their own if possible. "With 75 court case animals, our ability to manage and handle incoming strays will be taxed to the extreme," remarked Center Director Mark Kumpf.

In addition, to make space for the incoming pit bulls, the Animal Resource Center has distributed its adoptable dogs to local adoption and rescue organizations and other local shelters. Anyone interested in adopting a dog before Wednesday, November 1st, should visit the Dayton Humane Society or the SICSA in Kettering. After November 1st, dogs will once again be available through the Montgomery County Animal Resource Center.

Any owner interested in turning in their dog to the shelter is also asked to do so at an alternative site or wait a few weeks until space constraints are not as dire.
Source: Montgomery County Press Release
Update posted on Oct 27, 2006 - 11:33AM 

References

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