RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Three defendants have been sentenced due to their roles in an interstate dog fighting network across multiple states, including Virginia.
Court documents said the dog fighting network spanned Washington D.C., Virginia, Maryland and New Jersey.
“The violent and cruel act of dog fighting is a heinous form of animal abuse,” said Raj Parekh, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia.
“These defendants served as leaders, breeders, and trainers for a multi-year dog fighting operation and brazenly promoted this barbaric form of ‘entertainment’ for illegal personal gain. We must treat these animals—who are among society’s most vulnerable victims—with dignity and respect,” Parekh continued.
Court documents revealed, from at least 2013 to July 2018, Chester A. Moody, Jr., 47, of Glenn Dale, Maryland; Emmanuel A. Powe, Sr., 46, of Frederick, Maryland; and Odell S. Anderson, Sr., 52, of the District of Columbia, sponsored and exhibited dogs, as well as “participated in almost every other aspect of dog fighting: selling, buying, possessing, training, transporting, delivering and receiving dogs so that those dogs could be used in dog fighting ventures.”
The defendants were also in possession of significant dog fighting equipment like dog treadmills, medical veterinary kits, breeding stands used to forcibly immobilize female fighting dogs, dog collars with embedded weights and chains weighing several pounds used to restrain the dogs.
The United States Department of Justice said, throughout the conspiracy, the defendants took part in multiple dog fights. This includes “roll” or “play” fighting, which is used to test a dog’s willingness to fight.
The defendants also took part in “full-blown dog fighting shows” which were secretly planned months in advance and limited to select known attendees.
One of the dog fights took place in King George, Va., in April 2016.
The event had two separate dog fights with dogs owned and sponsored by Anderson, Powe and Moody. The losing dogs in the event’s secret location died following their injuries from the fights.
Anderson and Moody trained and fought dogs who attained ‘Champion’ or ‘Grand Champion’ status. These terms were used to show if a dog had won three and five contract matches respectively, with zero losses.
Moody will serve one year and one day in prison which will be followed by one year of supervised release with 120 hours of community service. He plead guilty on April 28 to one felony count of conspiracy to engage in dog fighting activities over several years.
Powe will serve 18 months in prison to be followed by 3 years supervised release. Powe pleaded guilty on May 10 to one felony count of conspiracy to engage in dog fighting activities over several years.
Anderson will serve 18 months in prison to be followed by 3 years supervised release. Anderson pleaded guilty on June 1 to the same felony count of conspiracy to engage in dog fighting activities as the other two defendants. Anderson also pleaded guilty to one count of causing a child under the age of sixteen to attend an illegal animal fight venture.