Timothy Paul Stewart of West Virginia Convicted of Dog Fighting, Drugs; Sentenced to 20 Years in Federal Prison

| by Phyllis M Daugherty

A West Virginia man convicted of running a dog fighting operation in Piedmont was sentenced on Monday in the U.S. District Court in Martinsburg to 20 years in federal prison, the News Tribune reports.

Timothy Paul Stewart,35, of Piedmont, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Gina M. Groh,  to serve 240 months in prison as a result of his convictions earlier this year for (1)  possession of dogs for dog fighting, (2) conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine, (3)  and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Stewart's girlfriend, 33-year-old Shannon Marie Broadwater, also of Piedmont, was sentenced by Judge Groh to three years in prison for her role in the sale of crack cocaine, SF Gate reports.

She also had a prior conviction for illegal use of the Internet to facilitate the distribution of crack cocaine.

U.S. Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld II said Wednesday that in October of 2013 agents went to Stewart's Mineral County home with a federal drug trafficking indictment and multiple search warrants.

While they were in the basement of his residence, agents observed evidence of an animal fighting venture including dogs, dog pelts, cages, and training equipment for the dogs. 

Officers observed and seized approximately 25 grams of cocaine base and seven firearms. They also found $3,968 in cash, which was forfeited by Stewart as part of the plea agreement.

This case was investigated by the Potomac Highlands Drug & Violent Crime Task Force, which included the FBI and the West Virginia State Police - Bureau of Criminal Investigations.

The maximum sentence Stewart could have received was 45 years in prison.

Sources: News Tribune, SF Gate