Bryan Cohen Jul. 24, 2014, 7:52pm

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Legal Newsline) - Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi announced a temporary injunction and asset freeze on Wednesday against five Jacksonville residents who allegedly engaged in the illegal importation, breeding and sale of English bulldog puppies.

Michelle Lee Echols, Kassaundra Ann Buttram, Glenda Chester Roque, Anthony Rene Roque and Brook Anthony Roque allegedly sold more than 700 English bulldogs that ranged in price from $1,500 to $2,300 each, resulting in more than $1 million in potential profits. Many of the puppies allegedly suffered from parasites, congenital defects or other serious health or behavioral issues.

The defendants, who operated as Remarkabull, Brook's Bullies, Matrix Bulldogs, Grand Bulldogs and Five Star Bulldogs, allegedly bred dogs with 10 other breeders and illegally imported five-week-old puppies from Colombia. They allegedly operated without a breeder's permit, failed to quarantine imported dogs, misrepresented that their dogs came with a valid health certificate, failed to provide consumers with proper certifications and failed to provide consumers with written notices that contained consumer rights under Florida law.

"These individuals not only allegedly deceived families seeking to purchase a healthy and properly certified family pet, but they also allegedly jeopardized the puppies' health in order to make money," Bondi said.

The temporary injunction prohibits the defendants from engaging in the solicitation, importation, breeding or sale of dogs. The asset freeze prohibits the defendants from concealing or squandering assets that may be used for restitution.

Bondi's lawsuit against the defendants seeks an injunction, civil penalties, attorney fees and consumer restitution.

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