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A Michigan man who pleaded guilty to taking part in a dogfighting ring was sentenced to 46 months in federal prison, and three years of supervised release.

Damian Buehrer, now 40, pleaded guilty to one felony count of conspiracy to sponsor and exhibit a dog in a dogfight and unlawful possession of dogs intended to be used for the purpose of dogfighting back in June.

Buehrer was charged with his part in operating “Fatal Menace Kennels,” one of three establishments involved. Four others have pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing: Charles Joseph Miller, Kian Maliak Miller, Charles Deon Davis Jr. and Jarvis Jason-Roy Askew.

The evidence involved in the breakup of the dogfighting ring included a trove of electronic communications detailing the finances of the operation—as well as the dozens of surviving pitbulls, according to federal authorities.

The communications went beyond the Western District of Michigan, to North Carolina and even Ecuador, and involved information about breeding, training and feeding regimens for fighting dogs, past and future dogfights, and the reputation of specific dogs, bloodlines and dogfighting kennels.

The Ecuador connection involved paying $1,650 via Western Union for a female dog named “Pantera,” who was transported to Michigan for breeding purposes.

Other communications included videos of dogs training, as well as notices of funds collected because of forfeited matches. The names of some of the dogs involved, according to the superseding indictment, were “Nightmare,” “Hollywood,” “Esco,” “Blade,” “Ghost,” “Pox” and “Scarface.”

Thirty-seven dogs were seized by law enforcement, ultimately.

Buehrer kept four of them. He also possessed specific medications for treating fighting wounds—and training equipment including treadmills, weighted chains, break sticks, spring cables, flirt poles and a jenny mill.

Buehrer’s dogs were known as “MachoBear Jr.,” “Wifey,” “Samey” and “Mikey.”

The ASPCA, which assisted with the care of the dogs that had been seized as part of the federal sting of the alleged dogfighting ring, said in a previous statement that such investigations present an extra difficulty to investigators.

“An additional complication is that evidence likely to be seized in a raid includes the dogs—living creatures who must be taken care of and maintained while the judicial process unfolds,” said the agency. “Most prosecutors would be happy to take on every dogfight case they could, but they are limited by the human and animal care resources available to them.”

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