Four people participated in a dogfighting operation and have pleaded guilty to federal charges.
Prosecutors in Virginia announced guilty pleas last week for the following suspects:
- Odell S. Anderson Sr., 52, of the District of Columbia, pleaded guilty to one felony count of conspiracy to violate the animal-fighting prohibitions of the Animal Welfare and one felony count of causing a child under the age of 16 to attend an animal-fighting venture.
- Emmanuel A. Powe Sr., 46, of Frederick, Maryland, pleaded guilty to one felony count of conspiracy to violate the animal-fighting prohibitions of the Animal Welfare Act.
- Chester A. Moody Jr., 46, of Glenn Dale, Maryland, pleaded guilty to conspiracy.
- Carlos L. Harvey, 46, of King George, Virginia, pleaded guilty to conspiracy.
Between 2013 and July 2018, the four participated in animal-fighting ventures through training, transportation, breeding and helping to set up dogfighting events, according to prosecutors. There were at least two events in 2016 where Anderson, Powe and Harvey met with others at a Walmart parking lot and went to a dogfighting event.
Moody, Powe and Anderson then participated in the fight, which included subjecting the dogs to arduous training for several weeks before the event.
At least one of the dogs died from injuries from the fighting, prosecutors noted.
The group also maintained other fighting dogs and their homes and equipment, including treadmills and breeding stands to help in their efforts, according to prosecutors.
They each face up to five years in prison, and Anderson faces an additional three years for the charge of bringing a minor to a dog fight. The suspects will be sentenced at a later date.
Officials from the Humane Society of the United States and other groups helped with the care of the dogs seized during the investigation.