Actor who played McGruff the Crime Dog gets 16 years

An actor who wore the costume of McGruff the Crime Dogshould have practiced what he preached, as 41-year-old actor John R. Morales, who played the Bloodhound in the late 1990s, has been sentenced to 16 years in prison as part of a plea deal.

Morales (left) and McGruff’s live action (center) and animated (right) incarnations; the character’s motto was, “Take a bite out of crime.”

Oddly enough, it was a police dog who helped bring Morales to justice.

According to CBS Houston, in 2011 Morales was pulled over by Galveston, Texas, police for speeding. Upon inspecting the vehicle, however, officers found diagrams for to grow marijuana indoors, and police dogs sniffed-out several marijuana seeds in the trunk of the vehicle.

When police searched Morales’ home, they found 9,000 rounds of ammunition, 27 weapons, and 1,000 marijuana plants.

“Everything I read about you makes you seem like a scary person,” District Judge Vanessa Gilmore said at Morales’ sentencing.

McGruff was popular in the early 1980s, as a cartoon overcoat-wearing Bloodhound who gave advice on how to fight back against crime. His live-action incarnation in a dog costume and long coat also made the rounds to schools and events. His trademark line was to “take a bite out of crime.”