He told us to "Take a bite out of crime." Little did we know he was a criminal!

CBS Houston TV reported Friday that John R. Morales, the actor who portrayed the legendary crime-fighting mascot, will be spending 16 years in prison on a variety of shocking charges.

Morales was the one you saw in those TV ads for years, made thousands of public appearances, and cartoon versions of his character are still sometimes seen on TV.

Morales was the subject of a Houston police investigation, and authorities raided his home.  They found 27 weapons, 9,000 rounds of ammunition, and a grenade launcher!  Why did he need this arsenal?  Because police also found two marijuana growing operations and over 1,000 pot plants!

Morales told the judge at his sentencing this week he was not a violent person, but Judge Vanessa Gilmore said "everything I read about you makes you seem like a scary person."

The character McGruff was created by Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising in the 1980's originally as a cartoon character who's role was to urge people to take precautions against burglars, thieves, robbers, and to "take a bite out of crime."  Morales was one of the most prominent actors to play the role.