A Buena Park cop on routine patrol Monday morning spotted a van without a front license plate. Out of Alabama with pictures of dogs and "southernexpresstransporters.ning.com" written on the side, the van pulled over into the Kohl's parking lot across from the Buena Park Mall, about a half-mile from Knott's Berry Farm. When the driver rolled down his window, the officer was struck by a foul order. The cop was told a dozen pit bull puppies in the back were bound for Mexico.
Further investigation revealed the pooches were being sent south of border by dog fighters. And, no, neither the driver nor the passenger was Michael Vick.
Buena Park Police Sgt. Bill Kohanek tells the Orange County Register the transport company is legit, the people in the van were fully cooperative and no arrests were made.
This is what the cop shop was able to discern:
The pups, who ranged in age from 3 months to 3 years old and valued up to $20,000 each, came from six states, including California.
They were to be dropped off to a man waiting in Calexico, who would then pay the driver in cash.
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The dogs were turned over to the Downey-based Southeast Area Animal Control Authority. Working with the Humane Society, SEAACA traced some pit bulls through their implanted chips to "notorious dog fighters." Some have felony convictions on their rap sheets.
Meanwhile, police--not the van--met the man waiting in Calexico.
Two more pit bulls were taken into police custody.
Of the border-hopping, fighter-dog trade, Kohanek told the Register, "This is a big problem in America."