East Alabama dog fighting case, second largest in U.S. History - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

East Alabama dog fighting case, second largest in U.S. History

After a multi agency investigation 12 people from Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi and Texas have been  arrested and 10 of them indicted for violations of the federal dog fighting statute and the federal gambling statute.

The 30 count federal indictment charges that between 2009 and 2013 the arrested individuals  conspired to promote and sponsor dog fights, and conspired to possess, buy, sell, transport and deliver dogs that were involved in dog fighting.

Federal and state officers served search warrants Friday in simultaneous raids in Alabama and Georgia. They seized 367 pit bulls in Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi. They also seized more than $500,000 in cash.

"These defendants were betting between $5,000 and $200,000 on one dog fight," stated U.S. Attorney George L. Beck, Jr.  "The number of dogs seized and the amount of money involved in this in case shows how extensive this underworld of dog fighting is.  These dog fighters abuse, starve and kill their dogs for the supposed ‘fun' of watching and gambling on a dog fight.  Their behavior is deplorable, will not be tolerated, and will be punished to the full extent of the law."

ASPCA and The HSUS responders helped manage the removal and transport of the dogs to temporary emergency shelters in undisclosed locations.

"We are committing to eradicating dog fighting in every dark corner where it festers," said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The HSUS. "This series of raids reminds every dog fighter that they are not beyond the law and their day of reckoning will come."

The case was investigated by the Auburn Police Division and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, with assistance from the Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board; the Coffee County Sheriff's Office; Alabama State Troopers; the Lee County District Attorney's Office; the Alabama Department of Public Safety; Bainbridge, Georgia Department of Public Safety; Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Echols County Sheriff's Office, the United States Marshals Service; the Lee County Sheriff's Office; the Houston County Sheriff's Office; the Opelika Police Department; the Georgia Highway Patrol; the Georgia Bureau of Investigation; the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation; the Pensacola, Florida and Columbus, Georgia offices of the Drug Enforcement Administration; and Taylor Crossing Animal Hospital. 

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