On Monday, August 26, Attorney General George Beck Jr. announced that raids led by the FBI resulted in the arrest of 12 suspects and the seizure of 367 Pit Bulls — ranging in age from a few days to 10-12 years old.
Raids in several states led to indictments on felony dog fighting and related charges in what officials say is the second largest dog-fighting ring bust in U.S. history.
There were also a number of guns, illegal drugs, canine drugs and $500,000 in cash confiscated during the raids, Beck said. Some of the defendants were betting between $5,000 and $200,000 on the dog fights.
DOG-FIGHTING SUSPECTS PLEAD ‘NOT GUILTY”
All 12 suspects indicted in the multi-state dog-fighting investigation that started in Lee County, Alabama, say they are not guilty of charges of conspiring to sponsor dog fights or training animals for fights. Eleven also face gambling charges.
The men and a woman, who are from Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi and Texas, entered their pleas Wednesday in federal court in Montgomery, and trial was set for February 10. Eight of the suspects are free on bond, WSAF reports.
During a hearing, federal prosecutor Clark Morris revealed that evidence includes wiretaps from Alabama and Georgia.
5 MORE PIT BULLS FOUND IN ALABAMA
Investigators seized 367 Pit Bulls in the August 23 raids in Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi.
Five more Pit Bulls were rescued from a Covington County, Alabama, property, reports the Humane Society. The dogs appear to be underweight and some had scars and injuries consistent with dog fighting, said. Chris Schindler, manager of animal fighting investigations for HSUS.
They were taken to the HSUS’ temporary shelter at an undisclosed location, where they will be examined by veterinarians and receive medical treatment.
ANIMAL FIGHTING REWARDS
The HSUS also offers a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone involved in dog fighting or cockfighting. If you have information about illegal animal fighting in your area, you can call HSUS’s animal fighting tip line at 877-TIP-HSUS and your information will be kept confidential.