Modified: February 8, 2017 4:10pm
Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn announced that 49-year-old Shondel Stephens of 61 Monroe St., Buffalo, was arraigned before State Supreme Court Justice Russell P. Buscaglia on an indictment charging him with the felony of Prohibition of Animal Fighting, two counts of Cruelty to Animals and Possession of Animal Fighting Paraphernalia.
It is alleged that Stephens was using his residence as a facility for the training of Pitt Bulls for dogfighting.
On or about August 31, 2016, SPCA agents entered Stephens home on a search warrant. The agents located two severely injured Pitt Bull dogs and what is alleged to be animal fighting paraphernalia used to train dogs for dogfighting. The dogs’ wounds are alleged to be wounds suffered during a dogfight.
Stephens pleaded not guilty. If convicted of these crimes, the defendant faces a maximum prison sentence of 1 1/3 to 4 years.
DA Flynn commends the investigative work of SPCA agents Christina Vitello and Richard Rosenberry.
Assistant District Attorney Justin T. Wallens of the DA’s Animal Cruelty Unit is prosecuting the case.
Like all defendants accused of a crime, Stephens is presumed innocent until his guilt is proven in a court of law.