WASHINGTON D.C. (WJZ) — Two Maryland residents were among four defendants who pleaded guilty for their roles in an interstate dogfighting network across Maryland, Washington D.C., Virginia and New Jersey, the Maryland Office of the U.S. Department of Justice said Tuesday.

Emmanuel A. Powe Sr., 46, of Frederick, pleaded guilty May 10 to one felony count of conspiracy to violate the animal fighting prohibitions of the Animal Welfare Act, according to a department statement.

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Chester A. Moody, 46, of Glenn Dale, and Carlos L. Harvey, 46, of King George, Va., each pleaded to the same charge on April 28, according to the statement.

Additionally, Odell S. Anderson, 52, of Washington, pleaded guilty Tuesday to one felony count of conspiracy to violate the animal-fighting prohibitions of the Animal Welfare Act by conspiring with others to sponsor and exhibit dogs in a dogfight, as well as to buy, sell, possess, train, transport, deliver and receive dogs for the purposes of having those dogs participate in animal-fighting ventures. Additionally, Anderson pleaded guilty to one felony count of causing a child under the age of 16 to attend an animal fighting venture.

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From April 2013 through July 2018, the four and other co-conspirators participated in animal-fighting ventures, involving training, transporting, breeding and dogfighting setups, including at least one specific “two-card” dogfighting event on April 3, 2016. In that event, they met at a Walmart parking lot in King George and traveled to another location for the fight. Moody, Powe and Anderson then participated in a pre-scheduled “two-card” dogfight, which involves two separate dogfights with different dogs and handlers. The dogfighters subjected the dogs to arduous training for several weeks before the fighting event. At least one of the dogs died due to its injuries in this dog fight.

The four each also maintained other fighting dogs at their residences, as well as dogfighting equipment including dog treadmills, “med kits,” “breeding stands” (to immobilize female dogs), and chains weighing up to several pounds per linear foot. Each animal-fighting charge carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The charge against Anderson of taking a minor to attend a dog fight carries a maximum sentence of three years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

The Humane Society of the United States, along with other entities, assisted with the care of the dogs seized by federal law enforcement.

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CBS Baltimore Staff