OTTUMWA — Defendants in a suit over what the Iowa Attorney General’s office has called a scheme to evade state bans on the sale of dogs from puppy mills have asked the court to block access to their banking records.
The motion asks the court to quash a subpoena issued to Farmers Trust and Savings Bank. The defendants said in the motion the subpoena seeks “irrelevant evidence and evidence not likely to lead to discoverable evidence,” as well as subjecting people to an “undo [sic] burden.”
The Iowa Attorney General’s office resisted the motion, saying banking evidence is “plainly relevant” in support of its argument the defendants abused their nonprofit status. The resistance said the defendants wrote “large, unexplained checks to themselves,” and that this is a subpoena for updated information on top of evidence prosecutors already have.
The state’s suit accuses four Iowa companies, including Wapello County-based Rescue Pets, of engaging in a puppy laundering ring. Several states and cities have banned the sale of dogs born at puppy mills. So, according to the suit, the companies acted as brokers, presenting animals they obtained from the mills as rescued dogs that could legally be sold.
No ruling on the motion has yet been made.
In other area cases:
• A man facing Wapello County charges involving drugs and theft has asked the court to drop warrants issued for his arrest after he missed court dates. In a letter to the judge, Dallas Tapley explained he was unable to attend. “During those court dates I was being held at Polk County jail on a probation violation. Polk County revoked me and sent me to prison. I arrived to Oakdale on August 9th,” he wrote.
The Iowa Department of Corrections website shows Tapley is currently being held at the Clarinda Correctional Facility.
• The Davis County Attorney asked that the trial of a woman accused of allowing her daughter to be with a man she knew had sexually assaulted her be delayed. Kendra Hoover faces multiple charges of neglect or abandonment of a dependent person and child endangerment. The motion said the parties “have not yet completed discovery and/or settlement negotiations.” Hoover’s trial was continued to Jan. 7, 2020, a two-month delay.