Dog trainer accused of running an unsanitary facility wants evidence from searches tossed | Crime and Courts

CROWN POINT — A Chicago Heights man accused of running an unsanitary dog training facility in St. John has asked a judge to toss evidence in his case.

Larry Brodanex alleges a St. John animal control officer violated his Fourth Amendment protection from unreasonable search and seizure when she told the owner of the property Sept. 11, 2017, that she could have police let her inside if the owner refused her access to the facility in the 9600 block of Industrial Drive.

The Lake County prosecutor’s office has not yet filed a response to Brodanex’s motion to suppress.

The property owner, who was renting the facility to Brodanex, testified during a hearing in June that he thought he had no other choice than to let the animal control officer inside, court records say.

“Shortly thereafter, approximately six St. John police squad cars arrive on scene,” the motion states.

However, the animal control officer testified in June that the property owner was upset about what was going on at the property and freely allowed her access, records say.

The property owner testified he could smell animal feces near the door to the facility. However, his testimony that the animal control officer said she suspected dogs were dying inside conflicted with the officer’s testimony. She denied telling the property owner she wanted access to the facility because she thought dogs were dying.

Police seized some of the dogs in the facility that day, and later returned after a judge signed two search warrants. Police seized more than 30 dogs from the property, records say.

Brodanex is facing nine felony counts of torturing or mutilating a vertebrate animal and 34 counts of cruelty to animals.

Police noted the smell of urine and feces inside the business was “overbearing” and described most of the dogs as sickly or “horrendously thin.” The animals were seized from the location after a veterinarian determined many of the dogs showed signs of trauma, active skin infections or inadequate nutrition, court records say.

Brodanex is asking the court to suppress “any and all evidence discovered and seized, either prior to the issuance of the search warrants in this matter or following the issuance of the search warrants.”

A hearing on the motion is scheduled for 3 p.m. March 6.

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