Four plead guilty to multi-state dogfighting conspiracy

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RICHMOND, Va. – Four people have pleaded guilty to federal dogfighting and conspiracy charges for their roles in an interstate dogfighting network spanning the District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia, and New Jersey, a federal prosecutor said.

The four defendants and their co-conspirators participated in animal-fighting ventures from April 2013 through July 2018, said Raj Parekh, acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, in a news release.

In one instance in April 2016, three of the defendants met up with others at a store parking in King George, Virginia, and went to a fight location, the news release said. The three then participated in a “two-card” dogfight, in which there are two separate dogfights with different dogs and handlers. One of the dogs died from injuries suffered in the fight, court documents said.

Odell Anderson Sr. pleaded guilty on Tuesday to conspiracy to violate the animal-fighting prohibitions of the Animal Welfare Act and other charges, according to the news release. Emmanuel Powe Sr. pleaded guilty on May 10, and Chester Moody Jr. and Carlos Harvey each pleaded guilty to charges on April 28, the news release said.

Authorities said the case was prosecuted as part of Operation Grand Champion, which combatted organized dogfighting.