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Feb 08 2014

McGruff Crime Dog Gets 16 Years for Pot and Grenade Launcher

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Remember McGruff, the friendly neighborhood bloodhound that wanted you to “take a bite out of crime”? The war on drugs has instead taken a bite out of him. 41-tear-old John R. Morales, a former McGruff actor who played the character for the Harris County, Texas Sheriff’s Association in the late 1990s, has been sentenced to 16 years in federal prison for drug and weapons charges.

Morales was arrested in Galveston, TX in 2011 after being stopped for speeding. A law enforcement officer with a drug-sniffing dog in tow found blue prints for an indoor marijuana growing operation – some reports also say the officer found maps to two farms – and several seedlings in the car. The police set up a raid and found themselves over 1,000 pot plants and 27 weapons, including a couple of grenade launchers. Some reports also list an additional 9,000 rounds of ammunition.

Morales pleaded guilty to the charges, but told the court that he is not a violent criminal. His lawyer, Ken Fesler II, also told the judge that Morales entered the drug trade as a way to raise money to help sick family members. U.S. District Judge Vanessa Gilmore took no mercy and told Morales that, “Everything I read about you makes you seem like a scary person.”

For those not familiar with McGruff, here is one of the “Users are Losers” anti-drug PSAs aired in the 1980s:

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