U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Ohio
(216) 622-3600
April 13, 2015

Akron Man Pleads Guilty to Operating Dog-Fighting Venture

An Akron man pleaded guilty in federal court to operating a dog-fighting venture and related counts, law enforcement officials said.

Alvin Banks, 56, is scheduled to be sentenced June 30. He pleaded guilty to five counts: sponsoring and exhibiting a canine in an animal fighting venture; buying, selling, delivering, possessing, training and transporting canines for participation in an animal fighting venture; attending an animal-fighting venture; being a felon in possession of firearms and ammunition and possession with intent to manufacture and distribute less than 50 marijuana plants.

The plea was announced by Steven M. Dettelbach, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, Stephen D. Anthony, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Cleveland Office, Akron Police Chief James Nice, Summit County Sheriff Steve Barry and Summit County Prosecutor Sherry Bevan Walsh.

Banks is the last of 10 people to plead guilty in federal court related to a dog-fighting operation uncovered in Akron last year.

Federal and local authorities raided a home on Cordova Avenue in Akron on Nov. 15, 2014 as part of an investigation into dog fighting. In addition to firearms, narcotics and more than $52,000 in cash, investigators discovered a blood-stained 16x16 foot ring used as part of an animal fighting venture, as well as two “break sticks” used to pry a dog’s mouth and teeth off another dog when the fight is finished. They also found eight pit bull or pit bull mixes, two of which were covered in blood and had fresh wounds from a fight that occurred just prior to the execution of the search warrant, according to court documents.

The investigation preceding the indictment was conducted by the Akron Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Summit County Sheriff’s Office, with assistance from the Summit County Prosecutor’s Office and the Humane Society of Greater Akron. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Linda H. Barr.

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