Ten People Indicted for Attending Dog-Fighting Venture in Akron
Ten people were indicted in federal court for attending an animal-fighting venture, law enforcement officials said.
Indicted are: Alvin Banks, 56, of Akron; Carlton Davis and Anthony L. Harris, both 41 and both of Gary, Ind.; Donell Higginbotham, 35, of Pittsburgh; Mark Terrell McCraw, 29, of Hersporia, Calif.; Samuel G. Mobley, 38, of Gastonia, N.C.; Corey B. Moorefield, 45, of Pittsburgh; Darius D. Muse, 24, of Victorville, Calif.; Ryan A. Sadler, 32, of Gastonia, N.C. and Tommy L. Walker, 60, of East Chicago, Ind.
The indictment 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 and McCraw face additional counts of sponsoring and exhibiting a canine in an animal fighting venture, as well as buying, selling, delivering, possessing, training and transporting canines for participation in an animal fighting venture.
Banks has also been charged with being a felon in possession of firearms and ammunition, possession with intent to manufacture and distribute less than 50 marijuana plants or less than 50 kilograms of marijuana, and for possession of firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.
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.
If convicted, a defendant’s sentence will be determined by the Court after review of factors unique to this case, including the defendant’s prior criminal records, if any, a defendant’s role in the offense and the characteristics of the violation. In all cases, the sentence will not exceed the statutory maximum and in most cases it will be less than the maximum.
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.
An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.