An actor who once travelled to schools playing “McGruff the Crime Dog” has been sentenced to 16 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to multiple drug and weapons charges.
John R. Morales was arrested in Galveston, Texas in 2011 when, after having been pulled over for speeding, drug-sniffing dogs detected the presence of marijuana in his vehicle. Police searched it and found diagrams for two indoor pot-growing operations on the front seat, as well as seeds in the trunk.
When police raided his home, they found over 1,000 marijuana plants, 27 weapons — including a grenade launcher — and over 9,000 rounds of ammunition.
“McGruff the Crime Dog” was created for the National Crime Prevention Council in 1981 and appears on commercials imploring children to stay in school and off drugs.
Actors wearing “McGruff” costumes so frequently appear in schools that a 1987 recognition survey indicated that 96 percent of teens recognized the “the Crime Dog” and his motto, “Take A Bite Out Of Crime.”
Watch a News Fix Now report on the incident below.
Scott Eric Kaufman is the proprietor of the AV Club's Internet Film School and, in addition to Raw Story, also writes for Lawyers, Guns & Money. He earned a Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of California, Irvine in 2008.
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