New Jersey Statutes Title 2C. The New Jersey Code of Criminal Justice 2C § 33-32

a. A person is a leader of a dog fighting network if he conspires with others in a scheme or course of conduct to unlawfully engage in dog fighting, as defined in section 1 of P.L.2015, c. 85 ( C.2C:33-31 ), as an organizer, supervisor, financier or manager of at least one other person.  Leader of a dog fighting network is a crime of the second degree.

Financier” means a person who, with the intent to derive a profit, provides money or credit or other thing of value in order to finance the operations of dog fighting.

b. (1) In addition to any other penalty imposed, the court shall order:

(a) The seizure and forfeiture of any dogs or other animals used for fighting or baiting, and may upon request of the prosecutor or on its own motion, order any person convicted of a violation under this section to forfeit possession of:  (i) any other dogs or other animals in the person's custody or possession;  and (ii) any other property involved in or related to a violation of this section;  and

(b) restitution, concerning the dogs or other animals seized and forfeited pursuant to subparagraph (a) of this paragraph, in the form of reimbursing any costs for all the animals' food, drink, shelter, or veterinary care or treatment, or other costs, incurred by any person, agency, entity, or organization, including but not limited to a county society for the prevention of cruelty to animals, any other recognized organization concerned with the prevention of cruelty to animals or the humane treatment and care of animals, a State or local governmental entity, or a kennel, shelter, pound, or other facility.

(2) The court may prohibit any convicted person from having future possession or custody of any animal for any period of time the court deems reasonable, including a permanent prohibition.

c. Notwithstanding the provisions of N.J.S.2C:1-8 , a conviction of leader of a dog fighting network shall not merge with the conviction for any offense, nor shall such other conviction merge with a conviction under this section, which is the object of the conspiracy.  Nothing contained in this section shall prohibit the court from imposing an extended term pursuant to N.J.S.2C:43-7 ;  nor shall this section be construed in any way to preclude or limit the prosecution or conviction of any person for conspiracy under N.J.S.2C:5-2 , or any prosecution or conviction under N.J.S.2C:41-1 et seq. (racketeering activities) or subsection g. of N.J.S.2C:5-2 (leader of organized crime) or any prosecution or conviction for any such offense.

d. It shall not be necessary in any prosecution under this section for the State to prove that any intended profit was actually realized.  The trier of fact may infer that a particular scheme or course of conduct was undertaken for profit from all of the attendant circumstances, including but not limited to the number of persons involved in the scheme or course of conduct, the actor's net worth and his expenditures in relation to his legitimate sources of income, or the amount of cash or currency involved.

e. It shall not be a defense to a prosecution under this section that the dog intended to be used for fighting was brought into or transported in this State solely for ultimate distribution or sale in another jurisdiction.

f. It shall not be a defense that the defendant was subject to the supervision or management of another, nor that another person or persons were also leaders of a dog fighting network.


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