ALBANY — Four Albany men have been indicted in connection with illegal interstate dogfighting, according to officials with the U.S. Department of Justice.
Demitri Jackson, 37, Tedrick Jackson, 38, William Burns, 41, and Otha Hopkins, 47, were indicted in Albany on one count of conspiracy to travel in interstate commerce in aid of unlawful activities and to sponsor a dog in an animal fighting venue and three counts of sponsoring and exhibiting a dog in an animal fighting venue.
Also indicted were Arthur Lee Clark, 41, of Sumner, Timothy Hopkins, 41, of Hiram and Michael Bass, 40, of Ashburn.
Justice officials contend the defendants operated a dogfight gambling enterprise named 229 Boys Kennels, Inc, from April 2006 to April 2010 in Albany. During the operation of the business, the defendants allegedly produced, promoted and participated in dogfight gambling shows throughout the Southeast, including other parts of Georgia and in Florida.
In addition, the release alleges that defendants bred, purchased, sold and trained American Pit Bull Terriers for the purposes of dogfight gambling.
Dogs not selected to continue fighting are alleged to have been exterminated by bludgeoning them in the head with hammers, slamming them on the ground until dead and by other inhumane methods.
All seven defendants were arrested on April 30, officials say, through the cooperative efforts of the Georgia Bureaus of Investigation, Sylvester and Americus Field Offices; U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of Inspector General; U.S. Marshals Service; and the Albany Police Department.
If convicted, the defendants face a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment and a fine of up to $250,000 or both, the release states.