Miami-Dade man gets 10 years for 'despicable' pitbull fight
A South Miami-Dade man was sentenced to 10 years in prison for organizing a bloody dog fight.
For organizing a bloody dog fight that ultimately cost the lives of at least seven dogs, a South Miami-Dade man was sentenced Monday to 10 years in prison.
Juan Carlos Olivero, 32, who ran a party supply rental business, pleaded guilty to fighting or baiting of animals before his punishment was meted out.
''You are a hard-working man, there is no doubt in my mind,'' Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Reemberto Diaz said. ``However, you have also shown total disregard for the laws of Florida.''
Olivero was arrested in November 2007 after an anonymous tip led Miami-Dade police detectives to a property off Krome Avenue at Southwest 160th Street.
Police saw a frenzied crowd gathered around pitbulls fighting each other in a makeshift ring, according to court documents.
Later, the losing pitbull-mix dog, was photographed splayed out inside a blood-smeared cage, bite wounds across her body. Despite being given painkillers, she died.
''This is a despicable crime,'' Miami-Dade Assistant State Attorney Susan Dannelly said.
Two more pitbull mixes were found there that night, uninjured. Another four were later found at Olivero's house. Because pitbull-blooded dogs are illegal in Miami-Dade, all six dogs were euthanized by the county.
Prosecutors say Olivero organized the fight. Six other people arrested that night are awaiting trial.
During Monday's hearing, defense attorneys Jeffrey D. Weinkle and Nelson A. Rodriguez-Varela tried to soften Olivero's image, asking family members about his hard work supporting them -- and his love of animals.
''Since I can remember, he's had dogs. Since he was small, he would pick them up off the streets and nurse them, cure them,'' his sister Maria Olivero said.
Dannelly, a passionate advocate of animal rights, buried her face in her palm.
She then called up Miami-Dade police Detective Mercedes Sabina, who described Olivero as ''very cocky. Saying he would be out the next day. Giving us a hard time,'' she said of his arrest.
Olivero was also given a 10-year sentence, to run concurrent with the dog case term, for violating probation. He has 15 prior felony convictions, including aggravated stalking and false imprisonment.
''I am very regretful of what I did, that I'm not going to be by my family, and helping my mother,'' he stammered, before Diaz cut him off to deliver the sentence.