UPDATE: This story was updated at 1 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 26 with names of those arrested in Alabama on Aug. 23.
Montgomery, Alabama – On Friday, August 23, 2013, the following people were arrested after being indicted for violations of the federal dog fighting statute and the federal gambling statute:
• Donnie Anderson—48 years old, of Auburn, Alabama
• Demontt Allen—37 years old, of Houston, Texas
• William Antone Edwards—42 years old, of Brantley, Alabama
• William Oneil Edwards—39 years old, of Elba, Alabama
• Robin Stinson—40 years old, of Elba, Alabama
• Michael Martin—54 years old, of Auburn, Alabama
• Lawrence Watford—35 years old, of Adel, Georgia
• Ricky Van Le—24 years old, of Biloxi, Mississippi
• David Sellers—52 years old, of Opelika, Alabama
• Sandy Brown—47 years old, Brownsville, Alabama
The 30 count federal indictment charges that between 2009 and 2013 the above individuals conspired to promote and sponsor dog fights, and conspired to possess, buy, sell, transport and deliver dogs that were involved in dog fighting. The indictment further charges individual defendants with promoting or sponsoring a dog fight and with possessing, buying, selling, transporting and delivering a dog for fighting purposes. Lastly, these defendants were charged with conducting an illegal gambling business.
MONTGOMERY, Ala. —The Humane Society of the United States and The ASPCA®, at the request of the United States Attorney’s Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, assisted in seizing 367 dogs in Alabama, Mississippi and Georgia in what is believed to be the second-largest dog fighting raid in U.S. history.
After a three-year investigation initiated by the Auburn Police, 13 search warrants were executed Friday morning, Aug. 23, throughout Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia and Texas. Ten suspects were arrested and indicted on felony dog fighting charges. Federal and local officials also seized firearms and drugs, as well as more than $500,000 in cash from dog fighting gambling activities that took place over the course of the investigation. Remains of dead animals were also discovered on some properties where dogs were housed and allegedly fought. If convicted, defendants could face up to five years in prison, as well as fines and restitution.
ASPCA and The HSUS responders helped manage the removal and transport of the dogs to temporary emergency shelters in undisclosed locations. Responders are also providing veterinary care and behavior enrichment to the dogs, which are estimated to range in age from just several days to 10-12 years. Both groups also assisted authorities with collecting forensic evidence to be submitted for prosecution.
Conditions of the dogs varied, but one veterinarian commented on the large number of the dogs that appeared emaciated. In one yard, 114 dogs, the majority tethered to heavy chains, sat in 90 degree heat, scratching at fleas, with no fresh water or food visible anywhere on the property. Some appeared to have no access to water at all, and many exhibited wounds, scars and other conditions consistent with dog fighting. Makeshift, filthy dog houses—many improvised from plastic and metal barrels and others made of chipboard with rotting wood floors and rusted metal roofing—provided the only shelter in the sweltering heat and humidity. Some dogs pulled at chains and cables that were tethered to cinder blocks and car tires. A female dog did her best to tend to six puppies, just weeks old, with no food or water, in a pen littered with trash and feces.