4 plead guilty to multi-state dogfighting conspiracy

Gavel on sounding block
Gavel on sounding block(Source: Gray News)
Updated: Jun. 1, 2021 at 7:43 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Four people pleaded guilty in federal court to dogfighting and conspiracy charges for their role in a multi-state dogfighting network, which spanned across the District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia and New Jersey.

“Dogfighting is absolutely intolerable and callously subjects defenseless animals to inhumane treatment and abuse,” said Raj Parekh, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “We must protect and care for these animals—not cruelly turn them against each other for profit. Those who engage in this deplorable conduct will face justice to the fullest extent of the law.”

According to court documents, Odell S. Anderson Sr., 52, of the District of Columbia; Emmanuel A. Powe Sr., 46, of Frederick, Maryland; Chester A. Moody Jr., 46, of Glenn Dale, Maryland; and Carlos L. Harvey, 46, of King George, Virginia were involved in training, transporting and breeding dogs for dogfighting between April 2013 and July 2018.

In April 2016, Anderson, Powe and Harvey met with others in the King George Walmart parking lot to go to the location of a fight.

“Moody, Powe, and Anderson then participated in a pre-scheduled “two-card” dogfight, which is an event involving two separate dogfights with different dogs and handlers. This event involved a strict training regimen the dogfighters put the dogs through for several weeks before the event. At least one of the dogs died due to its injuries in this April 2016 dogfight,” a release said.

The defendants also had fighting dogs and equipment at their homes.

“Organized dogfighting—whether on a professional, hobbyist or street fighter level—does not have a place in our society. Dogfighting is an extremely violent and secretive venture of animal abuse, and bringing young children to these fighting events also exposes another generation to indifference towards animal cruelty and disrespect for the law against this violent and illegal activity,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Jean E. Williams of the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division (ENRD).

Here is the following about what the defendants pleaded guilty to:

  • Odell Anderson Sr. - conspiracy to violate the animal-fighting prohibitions of the Animal Welfare Act by conspiring with others to sponsor and exhibit dogs in a dogfight, as well as to buy, sell, possess, train, transport, deliver, and receive dogs for the purposes of having those dogs participate in animal-fighting ventures. He also pleaded guilty to one felony count of causing a child under the age of 16 to attend an animal fighting venture.
  • Emmanuel Powe Sr. - conspiracy to violate the animal-fighting prohibitions of the Animal Welfare Act.
  • Chester Moody Jr. and Carlos Harvey - each pleaded guilty to the same conspiracy.

All four of them are scheduled to be sentenced later this year. Each animal-fighting charge carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

For more details, click here.

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