Ten People Indicted on Additional Federal Charges in Quad-City Dog Fighting Ring Bust

“I think it sends a strong message that this type of activity is not going to be tolerated and that there are severe consequences if you engage in it.”

Ten men now have been hit with federal charges in connection with a huge dog fighting ring bust that took place in the Illinois/Iowa Quad-Cities area that goes all the way back to 2011.  On April 14th of 2016, investigators took 64 “pit bull breed” dogs from ten different homes in Rock Island and one in Davenport as a part of a raid by the Rock Island Police Department and the FBI Gang Task Force.

A grand jury handed up indictments on FEDERAL CHARGES against the following:

  • Demarlo A. McCoy, 29, of Rock Island, charged with conspiracy to sponsor/exhibit pit bulls in an animal fighting venture, four counts of sponsoring/exhibiting dogs in dog fighting and possessing dogs for participation in dog fighting.
  • Ryan M. Hickman, 42, of Rock Island, charged with conspiracy to sponsor/exhibit pit bulls in an animal fighting venture and possessing dogs for participation in dog fighting.
  • Andrew Keywan Lidell, 40, of Rock Island, charged with conspiracy to sponsor/exhibit pit bulls in an animal fighting venture, two counts of sponsoring/exhibiting dogs in dog fighting and possessing dogs for participation in dog fighting.
  • Algerron Lee Goldsmith, 46, of Rock Island, charged with conspiracy to sponsor/exhibit pit bulls in an animal fighting venture and possessing dogs for participation in dog fighting.
  • Simmeon Terrell Hall, 28, of Rock Island, charged with conspiracy to sponsor/exhibit pit bulls in an animal fighting venture, transport and delivery of dogs for dog fighting and three counts sponsoring/exhibiting dogs in dog fighting.
  • Stantrel Vontrez Knight, 28, of Rock Island, charged with conspiracy to sponsor/exhibit pit bulls in an animal fighting venture, sponsoring/exhibiting dogs in dog fighting and possessing dogs for participation in dog fighting.
  • Sherrick Cornelius Houston, 43, of Rock Island, charged with conspiracy to sponsor/exhibit pit bulls in an animal fighting venture and possessing dogs for participation in dog fighting.
  • Willie Earl Jackson, 34, of Rock Island, charged with conspiracy to sponsor/exhibit pit bulls in an animal fighting venture and sponsoring/exhibiting dogs in dog fighting.
  • Terrell Onterial McDuffy, 43, of Davenport, charged with conspiracy to sponsor/exhibit pit bulls in an animal fighting venture.
  • Jaquan Leontae Jones, 27, of Rock Island, charged with knowingly attending a dog fight, a misdemeanor.

Rock Island Police Chief Jeff VenHuizen said, “There’s still a lot of work to be done as far as prosecution, but we’re happy to see these indictments come down.  I think it sends a strong message that this type of activity is not going to be tolerated and that there are severe consequences if you engage in it.”

All of the dogs taken from the properties were placed in the care of the ASPCA.  No dog fighting charges were filed immediately upon arrest, except for Hickman and Jackson whom were hit with drug charges as well.

According to prosecutors, McCoy, Hickman, Lidell, Goldsmith, Knight, McDuffy, Hall, Houston and Jackson all face conspiracy charges alleging:

  • They learned the rules of dog fighting, such as Cajun, Southern and Northern rules, and used them to sponsor fights between dogs and exhibit dogs in fights in the Illinois and Iowa Quad-Cities and in other states.
  • They learned dog breeding techniques and identified fighting-dog bloodlines and used those techniques to treat dogs that had suffered fighting injuries.
  • They learned techniques to treat injuries sustained by the dogs in fights and used those techniques to treat dogs that had suffered injuries.
  • They discussed and disseminated information, including videos, of past fights to establish the fighting reputations of specific dogs, maximize their value for breeding litters of fighting dogs and maximize the men’s reputations as fighting-dog trainers and breeders.
  • They attempted to obstruct investigation of their animal fighting venture by animal control and police by killing and otherwise disposing of injured dogs and misrepresented the origin of the dogs’ injuries and treated them without professional veterinary assistance.
  • They obscured their ownership of particular fighting dogs by housing them at locations other than where the defendants lived.
  • They killed or disposed of dogs that lost fights or otherwise failed to demonstrate fighting abilities satisfactory to them.
  • They contacted breeders of fighting dogs in other states to purchase dogs with high-fighting qualities and traveled to purchase the dogs and bring them back to the Quad-Cities.

At this point, three of the dogs have died from their injuries, sustained during the alleged dog fighting.  Two of the dogs had to be put down pursuant to a court order, and five other dogs have been voluntarily surrendered.  U.S. District Judge Sara Sarrow issued an order on January 26th granting a motion by the prosecution for default against 24 additional dogs not part of the first 64 seized.

Keep reading Life With Dogs for more updates on this case as they are released.

1 thought on “Ten People Indicted on Additional Federal Charges in Quad-City Dog Fighting Ring Bust

  1. Bullshit people been fighting dogs since the early years. White man mad because blacka started doing it n they cant tax it like boxing mma

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