Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Tahlequah man pleads guilty in pit bull case

A Tahlequah man has pled guilty to possessing pit bull terriers used in a multistate dog fighting venture.

Jerry Ray Miller, 48, was indicted in April. The indictment alleged that in 2009 Miller conspired with others to promote and sponsor the venture.

Execution of a federal search warrant at Miller’s rural Cherokee County residence in July 2009 was part of a coordinated, multi-state investigation, said U.S. Attorney Sheldon Sperling.

It resulted in the arrest of approximately 30 persons and the seizure of about 350 dogs in Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Texas and Oklahoma, he said.

The investigation revealed that Miller hosted contract dogfights in a building on his property, Sperling said.

The search warrant revealed the dogfighting arena, scales used to weigh dogs, break sticks used to separate dogs, medical supplies, muzzles, chains and treadmills used to train dogs for fighting, Sperling said.

Officers seized 12 pit bull terriers on site, Sperling said.

Sentencing will be scheduled following completion of a presentence report.

A preliminary calculation of the federal sentencing guidelines predicts a term of six to 12 months in prison, Sperling said.

Muskagee Phoenix 

Update October 19, 2010 3:49pm - The following article is from KOAM:

A federal judge has sentenced a Tahlequah man to three years of probation for hosting dog fights on his property. Prosecutors said Tuesday 48-year-old Jerry Miller must spend six months of his sentence on home detention and pay a $2,000 fine.
A federal grand jury indicted Miller in April and he pleaded guilty in May to possession of animals for participation in an animal fighting venture.
Prosecutors alleged that Miller hosted contract dog fights in a building on his Cherokee County property. Investigators say they found a dogfighting arena, scales to weigh the dogs and other items during a search of Miller's residence in 2009.
Law enforcement officers also seized 12 pit bull terriers.
Miller's attorney, Donn Baker, was in court Tuesday and didn't immediately return a call seeking comment.

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