SAN ANTONIO – Andres Torres, a former U.S. Marine, and Pamela Molina said that, after the upheaval in their lives created by the FBI raid at Universal K9 this month, they want owner Bradley Croft to know what they think about the fact that there are federal charges against him.
Bradley Croft, 46, faces 40 years in federal prison if he’s convicted of 14 federal charges of fraud, money laundering and identity theft.
Both Torres and Molina, as well as other students, had been training to become certified canine handlers and instructors for the government or law enforcement agencies.
“You got what you deserve, going after veterans like that. You know, using and abusing them. Justice has gotten to you, so I can’t wait to see what happens,” Torres said.
Molina didn’t mince words.
“(Expletive) you. I don’t (expletive) like you,” Molina said. “I’m not going to put any more attention or hate on you. You don’t deserve that. You’re going to be somewhere else, hopefully. Justice is going to do what justice does.”
Croft is accused of applying for GI Bill benefits, claiming to be some of his instructors, including one who had died two years earlier.
“How do you use someone’s name for something so awful?” Molina said.
“Whatever comes his way, he deserves that and more, especially using a dead veteran’s name. That’s just disgusting. Who does that?" Torres said.
Federal investigators allege Croft made fraudulent claims, totaling $1.26 million, for his personal gain.
The day of the FBI raid, the students' plans for the future were abruptly put in jeopardy. They also worried about the fate of the dogs, which they said the Department of Veterans Affairs had given to them for training. Those dogs were among the 26 dogs that were seized by Animal Care Services.
Torres was reunited with his dog, Red, and Molina has her dog, Charlie.
They said they had been told Red and Charlie weren’t up to the task after all, so they’ll be using other dogs on the job.
The day after Croft was indicted, Torres and Molina were among the former Universal K9 students who finally received their certificates as canine handlers from Pacesetters, a canine training facility north of Austin.
The school offered to help the Universal K9 students after learning of their predicament.
“Pacesetters have been nothing but a blessing to us," Torres said.