BJJ Black Belt And Former Professional MMA Fighter Dan Swift Convicted In Dog Fighting Case

Dan Swift

An unfortunate update to last summer’s incident.  Dan Swift, an often controversial Erie, Pennsylvania-based BJJ black belt and former professional MMA fighter holding a record of 20-26-2, has been convicted and will be sentenced in August.  Any updates on this case will be posted as they are released by local media.


A jury has convicted Danny Swift on numerous charges in an Erie dog fighting case.

Swift was found guilty of three felony counts of animal fighting, a misdemeanor count of possession of animal fighting paraphernalia, a misdemeanor count of possession of an instrument of crime, and seven out of fourteen summary counts of cruelty to animals.

Erie Police charged Swift after three pit bulls were involved in a fight in his backyard in August of last year.  Police confiscated 14 dogs from the property and equipment used to train dogs to fight, investigators said.

The prosecution brought an expert in dog fighting to the stand Wednesday. Deborah Jugan, of the Allegheny County District Attorney’ s Office, testified that the three dogs fighting in Swift’s backyard was not an accident, or unintentional, as Swift claimed. She said the fight was the “schooling” of a younger dog.

Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt Arrested For Dog Fighting

Tom Guffey took the stand for the defense Thursday. He has been involved in undercover dog fighting investigations in several states and stated he has always testified for the prosecution until now. Guffey said Swift is a responsible “pit buller.” He said the fight August 1st was an isolated incident where a puppy got loose without Swift’s knowledge and eventually became involved in an altercation with two other dogs. He said no dog fighting operation would be located in a populated neighborhood like Swift’s, and the equipment found in Swift’s house can also be used for agility training for dogs. Guffey listed tug of war competitions and treadmill races as examples.

Guffey said his investigations have brought down some of the biggest names in dog fighting, and he would not be in court today if he thought Swift was a dog fighter.

The jury began its deliberations at 4:30 p.m. Thursday and reached a decision after about two hours. 

Erie County District Attorney Jack Daneri credited those who assisted the prosecution team, with helping to win this case.

“The jury has told us that the computer forensics, and Facebook postings, and things like that nature were very important to them in their verdict. Credit to so many people for putting this case together,” said Daneri.

“This is a huge victory, not only for the animals that we have at the shelter in this case, but for the Erie community, and I think this it’s a total step forward…We, today as a community, were a voice for these defenseless animals. So I really think they got the justice they deserved,” said Nicole Bawol, Executive Director for the Humane Society of Northwestern Pennsylvania.

Swift will be sentenced in front of Judge Brabender on August 3rd. He could face a maximum of seven years for each felony count.”


  1. PaHitman, you are a loser, no matter what belt you wear. Your life choices and the way you carry yourself reveal that you will always be a loser. And now, to boot, you are a felon. A loser and a felon. Way to go through life!


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