- The Washington Times - Saturday, February 8, 2014

McGruff the Crime Dog has fallen on hard times. Actor John Morales, who dressed as the famous bloodhound known for taking a “bite out of crime,” has been sentenced to 16 years in prison.

The sentencing on Monday followed a guilty plea, three years after police seized 1,000 marijuana plants, 27 weapons — including a grenade launcher, and 9,000 rounds of ammunition — from Mr. Morales’ home, CBS reported.

Mr. Morales was arrested in 2011 when Galveston police and their drug-sniffing dogs pulled him over for speeding. The McGruff actor had two indoor pot-growing operations diagrams sitting on his front passenger seat, and marijuana plant seeds stored in the trunk of his car.

Police then raided Mr. Morales’ home and found the remaining offending evidence.

Mr. Morales insisted he was nonviolent, but District Judge Vanessa Gilmore stated, “Everything I read about you makes you seem like a scary person.”

McGruff the Crime Dog is a cartoon bloodhound that spreads crime awareness. Global advertising company Saatchi & Saatchi and the Ad Council created the detective pooch in the early 1980s for the National Crime Prevention Council.

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The dog is played by actors who visit schools and film commercials to promote crime awareness, all while wearing McGruff’s signature detective trench-coat costume.

• Kellan Howell can be reached at khowell@washingtontimes.com.

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