Two change plea to guilty in Rock Island dog fighting case

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ROCK ISLAND, Ill. (KWQC) — Two defendants facing dog fighting charges have changed their pleas to guilty.

According to court records, Jaquan L. Jones and Stantrel Vontrez Knight entered guilty pleas in connection the the charges that were filled earlier this year.

The indictment filled on January 31 alleged that from 2011 through April 14, 2016, the defendants sponsored pit bull-type dogs in fights, as well as buying, selling, training, and possessing dogs to participate in such fights.

Knight pleaded guilty to sponsoring and exhibiting dogs in dog fighting and Jones pleaded guilty to attending a dog fight. Sentencing is scheduled for September 21, 2017 at 10 a.m.

Both defendants were taken into custody, although Jones requested continued release on bond. A hearing is scheduled for May 22 at 2 p.m.
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Charges filed in Quad City dog fighting investigation

By Marcia Lense, January 31, 2017

ROCK ISLAND, Ill. - After months of investigation and dozens of dogs removed, federal and local law enforcement officials have arrested ten Quad City men on dog fighting charges.

The arrests on the morning of Tues., Jan. 31, 2017 follow a grand jury indictment last week of conspiracy to sponsor and participate in a dog fighting venture and related charges.

The following people are charged in the case: Demarlo A. McCoy, 29; Ryan M. Hickman, 42; Andre Keywan Lidell, 40; Algerron Lee Goldsmith, 46; Stantrel Vontrez Knight, 29; Simmeon Terrell Hall, 28; Sherrick Cornelius Houston, 43; Willie Earl Jackson, 34, all of Rock Island, Ill.; and, Terrell Onterial McDuffy, 43, of Davenport, Iowa. In addition, the indictment charges Jaquan Leontae Jones, 27, also of Rock Island, with a single misdemeanor count of knowingly attending a dog fight.

In a news release from the U.S. Attorny's Office, the indictment alleged that from 2011 through April 14, 2016, the defendants sponsored pit bull-type dogs in fights, as well as buying, selling, training, and possessing dogs to participate in such fights. According to the indictment, the defendants allegedly scheduled and conducted dog fights for sport and entertainment and wagered money on fight results.

The defendants allegedly discussed and disseminated information, including video recordings of dog fights, to establish the fighting reputations of specific dogs, to maximize the dogs' values for breeding fighting dogs, and to maximize the defendants' reputations as fighting-dog trainers and breeders.

Back in April, 2016, authorities seized 64 dogs believed to be used in the dog-fighting venture.

FIR_Dog Fighting_Rock Island, IL_April2016_0004

As of now, officials say 27 of the dogs have been turned over to the government. The court granted the government's motion for default pertaining to 24 additional dogs. Two dogs have been euthanized; five were voluntarily surrendered; and three dogs have died. There are currently three dogs whose claims remain unresolved.

The defendants are making their initial appearances in federal court in Rock Island.

Defendant Charges:

Demarlo A. McCoy, 29 400 block 7th St. Rock Island, Ill. Conspiracy to sponsor/exhibit pit bulls in an animal fighting venture (1 count) Sponsoring/exhibiting an animal in an AFV (4 counts) Possessing an animal for purposes of having the animal participate in an AFV (1 count)
Ryan M. Hickman, 42 500 block 14th Ave. Rock Island, Ill. Conspiracy to sponsor/exhibit pit bulls in an animal fighting venture (1 count) Possessing an animal for purposes of having the animal participate in an AFV (1 count)
Andre Keywan Lidell, 40 800 block 15th Ave. Rock Island, Ill. Conspiracy to sponsor/exhibit pit bulls in an animal fighting venture (1 count) Sponsoring/exhibiting an animal in an AFV (2 counts) Possessing an animal for purposes of having the animal participate in an AFV (1 count)
Algerron Lee Goldsmith, 46 1200 block 14th St. Rock Island, Ill. Conspiracy to sponsor/exhibit pit bulls in an animal fighting venture (1 count) Possessing an animal for purposes of having the animal participate in an AFV (1 count)

Defendant Charge Stantrel Vontrez Knight, 29 500 block 6th St. Rock Island, Ill. Conspiracy to sponsor/exhibit pit bulls in an animal fighting venture (1 count) Sponsoring/exhibiting an animal in an AFV (1 count) Possessing an animal for purposes of having the animal participate in an AFV (1 count) Terrell Onterial McDuffy, 43 1800 block 8th Ave. Davenport, Iowa Conspiracy to sponsor/exhibit pit bulls in an animal fighting venture (1 count) Simmeon Terrell Hall, 28 800 block 21st St. Rock Island, Ill. Conspiracy to sponsor/exhibit pit bulls in an animal fighting venture (1 count) Sponsoring/exhibiting an animal in an AFV (3 counts) Transporting an animal for purposes of having the animal participate in an AFV (1 count) Sherrick Cornelius Houston, 43 1600 block 5th St. Rock Island, Ill. Conspiracy to sponsor/exhibit pit bulls in an animal fighting venture (1 count) Possessing an animal for purposes of having the animal participate in an AFV (1 count) Willie Earl Jackson, 34 1500 block 9th St. Rock Island, Ill. Conspiracy to sponsor/exhibit pit bulls in an animal fighting venture (1 count) Sponsoring/exhibiting an animal in an AFV (1 count) Jaquan Leontae Jones, 27 1000 block 10th Ave. Rock Island, Ill. Knowingly attending an animal fighting venture (1 count)