DoJ busts dog fighting ring, charges 11

January 29, 2021

By a Biometrica staffer

January 29, 2021

The Department of Justice has charged 11 individuals on a 136-count indictment, including flouting dog fighting prohibitions outlined by the Animal Welfare Act and several drug-related violations. Five of the defendants had allegedly attended dog fights between May 2019 and Feb. 2020 and discussed training and matching up their dogs for fighting.

The defendants are Jarvis Lockett, 40, of Warner Robins, Georgia; Derrick Owens, 37, of Woodland, Georgia; Christopher Raines, 50, of Talbotton, Georgia; Armard Davis, 41, of Fort Valley, Georgia; Jason Carter, 38, of Phoenix City, Alabama; Shaquille Bentley, 26, of Roberta, Georgia; Bryanna Holmes, 24, of Fort Valley, Georgia; Vernon Vegas, 49, of Suwanee, Georgia; Lekey Davis, 45, of Talbotton, Georgia; Kathy Ann Whitfield, 61, of Columbus, Georgia; and Rodrick Walton, 40, of Shiloh, Georgia.

Lockett, Owens, Raines, A. Davis, and Walton have been charged separately with possession of dogs for participating in fights — 15 counts for Lockett, 40 counts for Raines, 44 counts for Owens, 18 counts for Walton and nine counts for A. Davis.

“Dog fighting is brutal and illegal; it is particularly troubling when combined with drug trafficking,” Peter D. Leary, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia, was quoted as saying in a statement released by the Department of Justice. “As this case demonstrates, we continue to aggressively prosecute dog fighters and those who work together to support and further their inhumane criminal activities,” said Jean Williams, Deputy Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division.

Lockett, Owens, Raines, A. Davis, Carter, Bentley, Holmes, Vegas, L. Davis, and Whitfield have also been charged with conspiring between May 2019 and Feb. 2020 to possess with the intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine and 28 grams or more of cocaine base.