Tyler, Texas (KETK) — Nearly 100 dogs were saved after the FBI broke up a dog-fighting ring which stretched across three states. East Texas law enforcement agencies, and the FBI started this investigation back November, now the criminals behind the dog-fighting venture are in jail.
The FBI began investigating this case more that 5 months ago and on Saturday March 22 a lengthy FBI investigation came to an end in East Texas.
The investigation started in Missouri, that’s where authorities says 38- year old Pete Davis Jr. and 41- year-old Melvin Robinson were being looked at by the feds for trainning dogs on a treadmill, for fighting.
Davis and Robinson were both charged with one count of buying, selling, and transporting animals for participation in animal fighting.
U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom says he hopes this sends the public a message that dog fighting is a crime, not a sport. Grissom said in a press conference Monday in Kansas City Missouri, "With the impact that we hope in a prosecution like this is the message that it sends out. that if someone thinks that this is something that is not a priority... that cruelty to animals, like cruelty to children, like cruelty to old people, isn't something we take seriously, than you're wrong."
Almost 100 dogs were seized, most of them pit-bull’s.
Tim Rickey, Vice President of Field Investigations for the American Society of the Protection for Cruelty to Animals tells KETK in a phone interview, "We have medical teams going through doing medical exams, documenting any injuries or illnesses, and developing treatment plans, and we will be working round the clock for the next few weeks, providing the level of care that the dogs need."
The dogs that were seized have been sent to a shelter outside of the state.
If convicted Davis and Robinson face a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a fine up to $250,000.