In the scheme, a Las Vegas trio approached four people and took six dogs from them by either falsely claiming lost canines belonged to them or by promising to provide the animals a “loving and permanent home,” according to the Nevada Attorney General’s Office.
Instead, Savanna Espinoza, 19, Johnny Espinoza, 37, and Jacklynn Espinoza, 36, would turn around and put the dogs up for sale, authorities said. Two dogs in their possession were the victim’s of abuse, officials alleged.
The suspects were arrested Tuesday and charged in a 14-count indictment filed today, officials said.
The suspects stole Siberian husky dogs named Luna, Sax and Saxa, a Yorkshire terrier named Prince Roman and a Great Dane named Odin estimated to be worth more than $650, according to the complaint. Another Great Dane named Ate was valued at more than $3,500, officials said.
While in the suspects’ possession, Odin, and a pit bull named Pixie were malnourished and not treated for infections, officials said.
The alleged crimes occurred between November 2016 and February 2018, officials said.
Johnny and Jacklynn Espinoza, previously convicted felons, were charged with the unlawful possession of a Colt .45 pistol, officials said.
The other charges all three face are five counts of theft in the amount of $650 or more and two counts each of conspiracy to commit a burglary, burglary, cruelty to animals and theft in the amount of $3,500 or more, according to the complaint.
“Several Nevadans have been misled and taken advantage of by the Espinozas’ attempt to perpetrate fraud,” said Attorney General Aaron Ford in a statement. “My office will continue to dismantle local schemes and instances of fraud whenever possible.”