McGruff the Crime Dog Actor Goes to Jail

Kimberly RipleyLife

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Former McGruff the Crime Dog actor John R. Morales has been sentenced to 16 years and three months in a federal prison on both drugs and weapons charges. He is soon to learn first hand that "crime doesn't pay." Morales was found in possession a pot farm including more than 1000 pot plants as well as 27 weapons. He had two indoor pot farms as well and even some grenade launchers to add to his haul of contraband.

Morales played the role of McGruff the Crime Dog for the Harris County Sheriff's Association in Texas for several years during the 1990s. He was actually taken down by a namesake of sorts. It was a real crime dog--that kind that sniffs out drugs of all sorts--who discovered several marijuana plants inside the trunk of Morales's car during a speeding stop in Galveston back in 2011. Inside the car officers also found a clipboard replete with maps to different locations of marijuana farms. Jackpot!

McGruff the Crime Dog commercials ran the gamut from teaching children about kidnapping awareness to "Don't do drugs" PSAs. Some of the TV commercials and PSAs were in animated form while others featured actors dressed in full dog attire playing the role of McGruff. Different police forces and sheriff's departments also utilized actors wearing McGruff suits to go into schools and communities events to spread crime awareness to area children.

Check out this McGruff ad from the 1990s.

Although it's sad to see a McGruff the Crime Dog doing hard time, it's likely the children in Harris County will never know. Hopefully their parents won't share word of McGruff's criminal downfall.

It's actually kind funny in a twisted sort of way to know that McGruff's bluff was called by a drug-sniffing dog. How's that for irony?

Don't you wonder what kind of treatment Morales might get in federal prison when fellow inmates learned he dressed up as a dog and talked to little children?


Kimberly Ripley
Kimberly Ripley is a freelance writer and published author from Portsmouth, New Hampshire. A wife, mom of five and 'Nana' to Lilly and Aiden, she loves cooking for her big family and watching HGTV in her spare time. Kim is guilty of starting way more home design projects than she can finish. Visit her at Twitter and Facebook.