- 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.

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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.

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