ALBANY, Ga. (WRBL) – Friday, Sept. 24, 2021, four of 11 Georgian co-defendants were convicted on federal dog fighting charges. There were a total of 12 co-defendants in the case, one from Florida and 11 Georgia natives.
Four co-defendants convicted Friday, Sept. 24, 2021
On Friday, Leslie Meyers, Kizzy Solomon, Johnson, and Kevin Charles were sentenced to federal prison. Meyers, Johnson, and Charles were sentenced various prison times and two months of supervised release after they pleaded guilty to conspiracy to violate the Animal Welfare Act.
- Meyers, 45, of Tallahassee, Florida was sentenced to serve 123 months in prison. In addition to his guilty plea of conspiracy to violate the Animal Welfare Act, he also pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of a handgun by a person with a prior felony conviction.
- Solomon, also known as Kizzy Andrews, 44, of Camilla, Georgia was sentenced to serve 30 months in prison. She was convicted on Tuesday, June 22 of 15-counts of aiding and abetting the possession and training of dogs for purposes of an animal fighting venture.
- Johnson, also known as OJ and Juiceman, 35, of Americus, Georgia was sentenced to serve 30 months in prison.
- Charles, also known as Trinidad, 45, of Jackson, Georgia was sentenced to 18 months in prison.
U.S. District Judge Leslie Gardner presided over the sentencing hearings. It was investigated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Office of Inspector General and the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office and Decatur County Animal Control.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jim Crane and Department Justice Trial Attorney Ethan Eddy prosecuted the case.
Dog fight broken up by officials Jan. 21, 2017; What officials found
According to a news release from The United States Department of Justice, the case centered a “two-card” dog fight in Sumter County, Georgia that took place Jan. 21, 2017.
Assistant Attorney General Todd Kim said in a news release, “The injuries that dogs suffer in fights are horrible enough, but this case shows how the cruelty of the dog fighting industry goes far beyond the fighting pit. We will continue to vigorously prosecute those who engage in these crimes.”
WARNING details in this story may be graphic to some viewers.
Upon arrival to the scene, authorities found two dogs in the middle of a fight, one suffering from such extensive injuries, it had to be euthanized.
Meyers traveled to the fight in Sumter County, Georgia from Florida with a dog that he pitted in a fight against a dog belonging to co-defendant Timothy White. In addition to this, Meyers was in illegal possession of a pistol during the fight, law enforcement broke up the fight and found Meyers in possession of the pistol.
A succeeding investigation revealed Meyers’ dog won the fight however, the dog would not complete a dog fighting ritual where the winning dog would be released to attack the losing dog, whether it was dead or alive after the fight.
As a result of the dog’s ‘disobedience,’ Meyers hung the dog on a tree branch where it suffocated to death. The dog’s body was found under the bumper of Meyers’ car by law enforcement.
Dozens of pit bull-type dogs were found with scarring, other injuries, and appeared to be malnourished.
Dog fighting equipment such as steroids, treadmills, and dog-fighting logs/histories were seized by officials. The logs included information that stated which dogs died, won, or lost in the fights.
Special Agent of the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Office of Inspector General Jason Gibson stated in a news release, “The cruelty exhibited by these individuals has left a stain on the human psyche of our civilization. This collaborative effort with our local and federal partners demonstrates that wherever
you are, you will be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law.”
Other co-defendants previously convicted
Five co-defendants previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to violate the Animal Welfare Act. Four were sentenced to various amounts of prison time paired with two years of supervised release. One was sentenced to two years of probation, they are are as listed:
- Kentre Gibson, 40, of Douglas, Georgia sentenced to 21 months in prison..
- Terry Driggers, 71, of Hoboken, Georgia sentenced to 17 months in prison and two years of probation.
- Maurice Glover, 48, of Douglas, Georgia sentenced to 12 months in prison..
- Starlin Morgan, 39, of Plains, Georgia sentenced to 11 months in prison.
- Timothy White, 51, of Patterson, Georgia sentenced to 11 months in prison.
Three co-defendants previously pleaded guilty to attending an animal fighting venture are as listed:
- Germany Brockington, 34, of Ambrose, Georgia was sentenced to seven months in prison immediately following his current prison sentence.
- Alonza Jordan, 48, of Americus, Georgia was sentenced to three months in prison and one year of supervised release.
- Shadon Johnson, 37, of Fitzgerald, Georgia was sentenced to serve two years of probation.
Acting U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia Peter Leary said in a news release, “Dog-fighting is vicious and illegal; it is also a breeding ground for other dangerous criminal activity that undermines the safety of our communities. Our office will not tolerate dog-fighting; we will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to hold offenders accountable with federal prosecution.”