🔴Two men were charged in a dog fighting ring in South Jersey

🔴 They are accused of conspiring with others to train and fight dogs

🔴Some of the dogs used for the fights were pit bull type dogs

NEWARK — Two South Jersey men have been charged for their roles in a dog-fighting ring that involved the “DMV Board,” a telegram-based dog fighting collective spanning several states.

The announcement was made by U.S. Attorney Philip Sellinger, and Assistant Attorney General Todd S. Kim of the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the U.S. Department of Justice.

According to documents filed in the case, Tommy J. Watson, aka “Snakes”, 43, of Clayton and Johnnie Lee Nelson, aka “Johnny,” 34 of Bridgeton, conspired with others to fight, train, transport, and possess pit bull-type dogs in dog fighting ventures, from August 2017 through March 2019, a violation of the Animal Welfare Act.

He and others conducted the dog-fighting operation, known as “From Da Bottom Kennels,” which posted bloodline information of fighting dogs owned by the kennel on a dog fighting website, “Peds Online.”

Watson also used the “DMV Board” to transmit videos of live dog fights, of training dogs for fights, and of the killing of underperforming fighting dogs, including by hanging, the documents revealed.

He is also charged with fighting two pit bull-type dogs in dog fights on Dec. 2., 2018, and transporting a third dog, Rambo, along with do-it-yourself veterinary equipment such as a skin stapler, to a location on Center Road in Upper Deerfield Township for a dog fight on March 23, 2019.

However, law enforcement managed to prevent that dog fight from occurring. They discovered two other dogs that had already fought, hidden in a car at that location.

Both Watson and Nelson were charged with possessing and training Rambo for the fight. Watson was additionally charged with one count of possession of ammunition by a convicted felon.

Watson surrendered and is scheduled to appear in Camden federal court. Nelson was arrested on Dec. 5., 2023, and already appeared before a judge.

If convicted, the Animal Welfare Act counts, and the count of conspiracy to violate that statute, each carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a fine of $250,000. The count of being a felon in possession of ammunition carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000.

Report a correction 👈 | 👉 Contact our newsroom

30 'poorest' neighborhoods in NJ

These ZIP codes in New Jersey have the highest percentage of households earning less than $25,000 in annual median income. The figures are based on 5-year data by the U.S. Census American Community Survey as of 2021.

Gallery Credit: New Jersey 101.5

More From New Jersey 101.5 FM