rescuesx-wide-communityFor men who were arrested and charged in connection with the largest multistate dogfighting raid in US history were convicted in federal court and sentenced to prison time. Teddy Kiriakidis, 50, of Leasburg, Ronald Creach, 34, of Leslie, Michael Morgan, 38, of Hannibal, and Robert Hackman, 56, of Foley were all sentenced to federal prison. Kiriakidis and Creach each got 18 months, both had previous felony convictions, Morgan and Hackman each a year and day. Their crimes included; breeding, raising, training, conditioning, trafficking, fighting and destroying American pit bull terriers as well as selling animals for fighting. They pleaded guilty to conspiracy to violate federal animal fighting laws, one felony count of conspiracy to commit federal offenses and one felony count of prohibitions against animal fighting ventures..

In essence, these scum, like Michael Vick, are not paying for their crimes of animal cruelty; “court showed that the men had the dogs electrocuted or shot for poor performance or serious injuries from the fighting ring, or left them to freeze to death while chained to a stake in the ground without shelter.” Just a slap on the wrist considering the heinous viciousness and cruelty of their crimes!

And these sentences were actually tougher than the federal recommendations for these crimes! Of course their lawyers whined about the sentences saying they were too harsh, arguing that the recommend sentence of 6 months probation was appropriate. Yeah, right!

“Animals were severely maimed and killed as part of this conspiracy,” Jackson said, rejecting the lawyers’ arguments. “I have to fashion a sentence that deters … and I hope people think twice about getting involved in this kind of activity.”

Their defense, the same as Vick’s, it was part of their culture, where they came from, it’s acceptable. Bullshit!! Although their sentences are a joke, even the judge didn’t buy that line of bull!

“I’m hearing this is part of a culture a lot of us aren’t familiar with,” U.S. District Judge Carol Jackson said. “But they realized they’re out of the mainstream. People involved in this know it’s illegal. Culture is not a mitigating factor. This was a serious offense.”

“Most people would find it difficult to take pleasure in watching two animals tear each other apart. Unfortunately, there are people like you who facilitate this activity,” Jackson said in court Tuesday.

These were only four of the 26 arrested in the July raids in which 500 dogs were seized in Missouri, Iowa, Illinois, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Nebraska and Texas.

As for the dogs that were seized;

The Humane Society of Missouri has housed and cared for the more than 500 dogs seized in Missouri and Illinois and puppies born since the raids. About 100 dogs seized in other states were taken by rescue groups elsewhere. Teams that evaluated the dogs found most could be suitable as pets, and many have made their way to U.S. rescue groups and foster homes, pending permanent placement.

Debbie Hill, vice president of operations at the Humane Society of Missouri, said 90 remaining dogs in the St. Louis-based group’s care await their chance at placement.

Although I don’t feel the sentences fit the crimes as least we can be thankful that the scum are off the streets and this is one dogfighting right that was busted… for now. Oh, I hold no illusions that it is a permanent solution, the trash will just regroup and go deeper underground but this was a huge bust and hundreds of dogs that were rescued and saved from hell. I’ll be a lot happier when I start seeing seriously hard punishments handed down for crimes like this but I guess it is a start.

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