Posted Dec. 30, 2014
Organizers and participants in a dogfight business that killed hundreds of dogs have received prison sentences, including the longest prison term given in a federal dogfighting case.
Court documents and an early November 2014 announcement from federal prosecutors indicate that nine people who were arrested in connection with an August 2013 raid—the second largest in U.S. history—received sentences ranging from two months to eight years. All had entered negotiated guilty pleas to charges they were involved in a criminal conspiracy related to dogfighting, and some had additional charges connected with gambling and possession of firearms by a felon.
The sentences delivered by U.S. District Judge Keith Watkins are as follows:
Donnie Anderson of Auburn, Alabama, eight years
Demontt Allen of Houston, five years
Michael Martin of Auburn, Alabama, five years
Ricky Van Le of Biloxi, Mississippi, four years
Irkis Forrest of Theodore, Alabama, three years
Edward Duckworth of Decatur, Georgia, 14 months
William A. Edwards of Brantley, Alabama, one year
Sandy Brown of Brownsville, Alabama, six months
Jennifer H. McDonald of Collins, Mississippi, two months
The announcement includes an estimate that the dogfighting operation killed between 420 and 640 dogs. Court documents indicate that, since 2009, the group had operated in at least six states: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Mississippi, and Texas.
U.S. Attorney George L. Beck said in the announcement that the group kept dogs in deplorable, cruel conditions; made them fight; and killed them if they lost. Gambling money exchanged at the events often ranged between $20,000 and $200,000, providing a venue for drug dealers.
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the Humane Society of the United States helped the U.S. Attorney’s Office and Federal Bureau of Investigation seize hundreds of dogs during raids Aug. 23, 2013, in Alabama, Mississippi, and Georgia, the announcement states. Guns, narcotics, and more than $500,000 in cash were seized.