Three men from D.C. and Maryland were sentenced to prison time for their roles in a dogfighting ring that operated for years in D.C., Maryland, Virginia and New Jersey, the Justice Department announced Thursday.
The men trained and fought dogs at events from at least 2013 to 2018, federal prosecutors said.
Odell Anderson Sr., 52, of D.C.; Chester Moody Jr., 47, of Glenn Dale, Maryland; and Emmanuel Powe Sr., 46, of Frederick, Maryland, each pleaded guilty to one felony count of conspiracy to engage in dogfighting activities. Anderson also pleaded guilty to one count of causing a child under age 16 to attend an illegal animal fight.
Anderson and Powe were each sentenced to 18 months in prison and three years of supervised release. Moody was sentenced one year and one day, plus a year of supervised release and 120 hours of community service.
People involved in brutal illegal dogfighting will be punished, said Todd Kim, the assistant attorney general for the Environment and Natural Resources Division.
“Dog fighting is a form of cruelty with no place in our society. This cruelty will not be tolerated, nor will exposing a child to such horrific acts," Kim said in a statement.
Prosecutors say the men sold, bought and trained dogs used to fight each other. They had “dog treadmills,” heavily weighted collars and chains, and other dogfighting equipment.
Anderson and Moody trained dogs that were named champions or grand champions in the world of dogfighting.
Two dogs died of injuries after they lost fights held in a secret location in King George, Virginia, in 2016.
The prosecutions are part of a larger effort by federal law enforcement, known as Operation Grand Champion, to crack down on organized dogfighting.