A a twist of tragic irony, police and prosecutors have "taken a bite out of crime" by getting McGruff the Crime Dog sentenced to 16 years in prison for a massive pot operation and weapons cache, including a grenade launcher.
John R. Morales, 41, a former actor who played the crime-fighting canine, was pulled over for speeding in Galveston, Texas, in 2011. A real-life dog (this one of the drug-sniffing variety) ratted him out for pot.
What police uncovered next was certainly stranger than fiction.
Pot Enterprise, Grenade Launcher
After a drug-sniffing dog tipped cops off to Morales' weed stash, they searched his car and discovered blueprints for indoor marijuana-growing facilities along with marjuana seeds, Houston's KHOU-TV reports.
But it was what authorities discovered during a raid on Morales' home that really put him in the dog house.
During the raid, authorities found more than 1,000 pot plants and an arsenal of weapons, including a grenade launcher.
Even if you're trying to take a bite out of crime "Rambo"-style, you can face federal weapons charges for possessing unregistered grenades or grenade launchers.
Though a grenade launcher is surprisingly easy to obtain, according to the Justice Department, it is considered a "destructive device" and therefore falls under the National Firearms Act and requires transfer approval from the ATF.
Add that to drug trafficking charges for a 1,000-plant marijuana-growing enterprise, and you've got some hefty penalties racked up. Ruh-roh.
16 Years in the Dog Pound
Morales was sentenced to 16 years in people-prison after accepting a plea deal. That should give him plenty of time to pen "Pound Puppies II: The Demise of McGruff."
As we learned from the uniquely entrepreneurial Suburban Pot Mom, elaborate pot-growing operations can lead to lengthy imprisonment. A number of factors go into sentencing, but rubbing the judge the wrong way never helps.
As U.S. District Judge Vanessa Gilmore told Morales before sentencing, "Everything I read about you makes you seem like a scary person."
To be fair, McGruff was always looked a little creepy in his trenchcoat, so it's hard to tell where Morales ends and McGruff begins.
Who knows what D.A.R.E.'s Daren the Lion is up to?...
- McGruff The Crime Dog Sentenced To 16 Years For Committing Crimes (The Huffington Post)
- Accidental Pot Grower, 73, Gets Vt.'s 1st Marijuana Ticket (FindLaw's Legally Weird)
- City Repays Woman After Cops Ruined Her Medical Marijuana Plants (FindLaw's Legally Weird)
- Medieval Sword Fighters Report Robbery, Get Busted for Pot Dealing (FindLaw's Legally Weird)