Stamford police: 22 dogs confiscated, 4 suspects arrested in case involving credit fraud, neglect
Four people are facing charges after Stamford police say they confiscated 22 dogs, mostly high-end puppies, in a case involving alleged credit card fraud and animal neglect.
Police say they investigated several incidents of veterinary services that were paid for with fraudulent credit cards back in February.
During this same time, the Stamford police say they received community complaints about dogs that were being housed and possibly neglected at a home on Belltown Road.
Back in March, police executed a search warrant at the residence, and a suspect, Nygel Joseph, was arrested for forgery. At the time, 20 puppies were seized and taken to a local veterinary hospital for examination and treatment. In addition, two other puppies, which were owned by the suspects, were later turned over to the Stamford Police Department from another veterinary hospital.
The Stamford Police Department Financial Crimes Unit continued an investigation with numerous search warrants on phone records, bank accounts and credit card accounts. Police say that led to arrest warrants for three more individuals: Paul Joseph, of the same Belltown Road address in Stamford; Ebony Ayala, of Mount Vernon, New York; and Devon Sherman, of Peekskill, New York. They are each charged with racketeering, larceny, conspiracy at larceny, conspiracy at illegal use of a payment card, animal neglect and importing dogs without a health certificate.
Joseph was additionally charged with theft of a payment card, while Ayala and Sherman were also charged with trafficking in personal identifying information, according to police.
The three suspects were ordered held on a $200,000 court-set bond.
Police say the 22 puppies are currently being cared for and are in good health.