GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

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March 9, 2013

Pitbull suspect in jail through Monday

John “Jack” Dugan, the pitbull heroin case defendant arrested again this week for violating the drug and alcohol terms of his probation, will now sit in Middleton Jail over the weekend at his attorney’s request, though the lawyer hopes the judge will free Dugan come Monday.

Dugan’s attorney, John Morris, asked at a Friday court hearing that the 27-year-old accused of gutting his pet pit bull, Xena, in what police call an attempt to remove packaged heroin, remain in jail until his probation officer returns to work Monday. Morris hopes the judge Monday will see the probation violation as a one-time slip-up and order Dugan’s release, Morris said.

“Other than this one little slip, he’s been fully compliant,” Morris said in an interview after court. “It’s a blip on the radar. I’m going to ask the judge to release him again so we can fight the fight while he’s on the street.”

Dugan had been rearrested on Wednesday, when police officers alerted that he missed a day of his court-mandated rehabilitation program found Dugan at a local hotel and Dugan confessed to “snorting” the opiate Percocet, drinking Jameson whiskey and smoking marijuana in a relapse that began right after a Tuesday court appearance, according to a police report. Dugan had been expected to graduate from the rehabilitation program Friday.

“Dugan stated he relapsed after his court proceeding Tuesday (on the pitbull cruelty charges),” Detective Steven Mizzoni wrote in the report.

Dugan had been released from jail in mid-January when he met the terms of a $20,000 bail, after his initial early December arrest on the case. His probation terms require that he stay sober of drugs and alcohol and not keep animals.

Animal rights activists who protested outside of Dugan’s Tuesday appearance, a status hearing that the judge decided to continue to May 3, were less than shocked to hear Dugan had been arrested again and hoped he might stay in jail a while longer this time.

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