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Fall River man accused of illegally importing dogs pleads not guilty

FALL RIVER, Mass. (AP) — A Fall River man accused of illegally importing dogs into Rhode Island has pleaded not guilty.

WPRI-TV reports 30-year-old Justin Wagner was arraigned Monday on charges of importing dogs into the state without valid certificates and operating a pet shop without a license.

The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management says officials confirmed that a company called Loyal Labs that advertised puppies for sale on Facebook wasn’t licensed in Rhode Island. The puppies were from Pennsylvania.

Wagner was in possession of seven nine-week-old Labrador retriever puppies when he was arrested. DEM says they were dehydrated and infested with worms.

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Wagner is on probation for animal cruelty charges in Massachusetts.

Wagner was released and is due back in court Feb. 29.

It’s unclear whether he’s represented by an attorney.

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