Seven People Nabbed in Dogfighting Bust


Seven people were arrested and two dogs rescued by sheriff’s police during a raid on a Maywood home, according to WMAQ-TV.

On suspicion of animal cruelty and neglect, officers of the Cook County Sheriff’s Police Animal Crimes Unit (who are pretty incredible) were in the process of executing a
search warrant on the home Dec. 30 when upon entering
officers said they found two pit bulls fighting in the basement.  The
dogs were taken away for immediate
veterinary care. There’s no doubt without the officers’ intervention, there may have been two dead dogs, for sure, the smaller of the two -only about 11 months old. 

Six people were charged with felony animal cruelty.  Jonathan Holt, 28, a resident of the home, was charged with dogfighting; Tara Jackson, 19, and Ebony Jackson,
21, both also from Maywood; Kevin
Hicks, 25, of Chicago; Aaliyah
Jackson, 18 and Andre Gaines, 24, of Maywood were all charged with attending a dogfight. Gaines was also arrested on a Cook County warrant for unrelated
aggravated assault and possession of weapons and drugs, the sheriff’s
statement said.

Bond has been set at $10,000
for Jonathan Holt, Ebony Jackson, Frederick Whitaker, Kevin Hicks, and
Aaliyah Jackson, according to the sheriff’s office.  Tara Jackson
received a $5,000 bond and Andre Gaines is being held without bond. Charges are pending for the seventh man arrested at the scene who was hospitalized for an unrelated condition.

It was in Maywood, Illinois that a shocking dogfighting bust was made by Dart’s staff over a year ago received national press – the dogfighters were at a day care center.

Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart

As a result, I worked with others to create a law, which Illinois was the first state to pass. This law enhances the felony penalty when dogfighters bring their horrific event to where kids are, like playgrounds, schools or day care centers. 

Sheriff Tom Dart gets it – he knows that where dogfighting is, there are other crimes, desensitizes children to violence, how dogfighters themselves typically are involved in other crimes and how dogfighting erodes the community. That’s not to mention the unspeakable treatment of the dogs. Despite what you might believe Pit Bulls aren’t born to kill one another (only people do that).  Dart is a hero – other county sheriffs are taking note of his successes, demonstrating you can bust dogfighters. But I want to make a point of saying, while it all begins at the top with Dart, the individual members of his animal crimes until are equally as outstanding and worthy of national praise.