Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Pit bulls seized after Hillsborough man accused of dogfighting

BRANDON — The two small Malteses were free to roam the house, while the pit bulls stood in waste inside elevated 4-foot by 8-foot plywood boxes, according to Hillsborough County Animal Services.

The adult pit bulls — with prominent bite marks and gashes — were raised for fighting, investigators say.

The Sheriff's Office arrested Roland Sims, 34, Tuesday on eight counts of owning dogs for fighting, three counts of fighting animals, three counts of breeding fighting dogs, two charges of cruelty to animals and two counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Acting on an anonymous tip, an investigator for Animal Services visited 1319 N Taylor Road and discovered dogs with scars consistent with fighting, according to a Sheriff's Office report. When the investigator returned with a search warrant and sheriff's deputies the next day, three of the dogs had been removed.

One red male pit bull with injuries on his face and front legs remained, along with two other pit bulls. Two ailing pit bull puppies had been infected with a bacteria transmitted through fecal matter.

The dogs were kept in elevated boxes, which had wooden slats on the bottom, according to Sgt. Pam Perry of Animal Services. On two sides the boxes had chain link for ventilation. The cages were hosed down with the dogs inside, she said.

Animal Services plans to ask a court to prevent Sims or his wife, Clarencia April Gordon, from keeping dogs.

Sims admitted to deputies that he bred and sold the dogs for fighting, according the Sheriff's Office report.

In April 2008, Sims was cited for not registering animals and for not having up-to-date rabies vaccinations. He has also faced a string of criminal charges over the years. In 1999, he was convicted of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, a felony.

Tuesday, authorities confiscated the two Malteses, along with the pit bulls and a bull terrier.

"We've got custody of the animals right now," Perry said. "We don't want him to own any animals again."

Eric P. Newcomer can be reached at (813) 226-3401 or

Pit bulls seized after Hillsborough man accused of dogfighting 08/03/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, August 3, 2011 11:18pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Prosecutors tried to delay a trial because of the eclipse. Florida judge cited 'Star Trek' in ruling


    The wheels of justice may grind slowly, but they cannot be stopped by Monday's total eclipse, a judge has ruled.

    Schweta Kulkarni, from left, Rhea Kulkarni and Saanvi Kulkarni, from Seattle, try out their eclipse glasses on the sun at a gathering of eclipse viewers in Salem, Ore., early Monday, Aug. 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Don Ryan) ORDR102
  2. Top 5 at Noon: Mayoral race affects ballpark decision; stream the eclipse live


    Here are the latest headlines and updates on

    Looking east at Tropicana Field and downtown St. Petersburg.  SCOTT KEELER    |    Times

  3. Full disclosure: My AP Top 25 ballot


    Now that you've seen the preseason AP Top 25, here's what I submitted in my first year as a voter. The AP doesn't give us many guidelines in the preseason. I didn't try to predict how …

  4. AP Top 25: Alabama first, FSU, UF, Miami and USF all in top 20


    As expected, Alabama will start the season at No. 1 in the AP Top 25.

  5. Hollywood lost a serious filmmaker in Jerry Lewis


    The day the clown died, Hollywood lost a serious filmmaker in Jerry Lewis.

    Jerry Lewis in 2005. Lewis, the comedian and filmmaker who was adored by many, disdained by others, but unquestionably a defining figure of American entertainment in the 20th century, died on the morning of Sunday, Aug. 20, 2017, at his home in Las Vegas. He was 91 (New York Times)