Convicted dog fighter and Pennsylvania resident Dan Swift (who is also a BJJ black belt and former MMA fighter) has officially begun serving his 10-20 month sentence stemming from his initial arrest in August 2016.
The Erie Humane Society Animal Cruelty Division released an update on social media that revealed that Swift began serving his sentence on March 14 of this year after all his appeals were denied (He will, however, be granted work release). In 2017, Swift was convicted of three felonies of the third degree for animal fighting, one misdemeanor of the third degree for possession of animal fighting paraphernalia, one misdemeanor of the first degree for possession of an instrument of crime, and seven summary offenses for cruelty to animals. Swift is also prohibited from ever owning a dog again.
Swift was a controversial member of the martial arts community even before the news broke about his arrest. In 2015, he drew the ire of many in the jiu-jitsu community (including Tom DeBlass and Ruben Alvarez) for his comments calling out Chris Weidman and questioning his fighting and grappling abilities. Post-conviction, the jiu-jitsu community was once again outraged when it came out that he’d been added to the Fight 2 Win 69 card; Swift was quickly removed from the card once F2W CEO Seth Daniels was made aware of his crimes.
The Erie Humane Society released photos that were being held as evidence (along with some photos of the dogs that were seized from the property who are now happy, healthy, and rehomed). Included are screenshots showing Swift (username “swiftnhbfighter”) bragging in an online MMA forum about his abilities as a handler for dogs fighting in the pit.
Here are the before and after photos of some the dogs seized from the property.