Chaparral man sentenced in extreme animal cruelty case

Cat hoarder sentenced, maintained innocense

LAS CRUCES, N.M. - A 12-year veteran of law enforcement has been sentenced for extreme animal cruelty in Dona Ana County.

District Judge Fernando Macias sentenced Chuck Gonnell to 4 1/2 years in prison but suspended the sentence and placing him on parole for the entire 4 1/2 years.  

In 2012, Gonnell was arrested and charged with 83 counts of extreme animal abuse, animal abuse and failure to vaccinate. 

The state dismissed all but three counts of extreme animal abuse. 

Dona Ana County Sheriff's investigators went to Gonnell's Chaparral home and discovered more than 50 cats in the home and on the property. 

Gonnell told the court he only had six and the rest were strays.

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