A dog trainer was sentenced to 6 1/2 years in prison Monday for providing defective bomb-sniffing dogs to the government after the Sept. 11 attacks and lying about their credentials.
Russell Lee Ebersole, convicted in June on 27 counts of fraud, insisted his dogs were competent and blamed his conviction on jealous competitors.
"I believe in my employees. I believe in my dogs. They are heroes," Ebersole of Hagerstown, Md., said at sentencing.
Ebersole's Detector Dogs Against Drugs and Explosives, of Stephenson, Va., provided bomb-sniffing dogs to several federal agencies after the terrorist attacks. The agencies paid Ebersole $700,000. The contracts were canceled after his dogs failed tests on five occasions.