ALEXANDRIA, Va. – A Capitol Heights, Maryland, man was sentenced immediately to 2 years in jail for conspiring to interact in dogfighting.
In accordance with courtroom paperwork, from Might 2015 by no less than August 2020, Charles Edward Williams, III, 50, and different conspirators from Virginia, D.C., and Maryland, used a messaging app personal group, which they typically known as “The DMV Board” or “The Board,” as a spot the place they and their associates may focus on coaching combating canines, change movies about dogfighting, and prepare and coordinate canine fights, away from the view of regulation enforcement authorities. Members of The DMV Board additionally used the messaging app to check strategies of killing canines that misplaced fights, in addition to to flow into media stories about conspirators who had been caught by regulation enforcement and focus on strategies to attenuate the chance that they might be caught themselves.
Williams entered a number of canines into fights. For instance, in March 2018, Williams entered a canine right into a struggle at a warehouse in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Legislation enforcement officers broke up the struggle and apprehended a number of weapons and two injured canines from the warehouse. In addition they arrested those that have been current, together with Williams.
In April 2019, Williams and coconspirator Michael Roy Hilliard, 37, of Fort Washington, Maryland, drove to Bunnlevel, North Carolina, with a canine belonging to Williams, in order that he may enter the canine in a canine struggle. The struggle lasted lower than 10 minutes earlier than being gained by the canine belonging to Williams. An unindicted conspirator shot and killed the canine that misplaced the struggle.
In August 2022, Williams, Hilliard, and 5 others have been indicted for a dogfighting conspiracy involving the “DMV Board.” In November 2022, Williams, Hilliard, and their co-defendants Derek Garcia and Ricardo Thorne pleaded responsible for his or her roles within the conspiracy.
Hilliard, Garcia, and Thorne are scheduled to be sentenced in March 2023. They every face a most penalty of 5 years in jail. Precise sentences for federal crimes are usually lower than the utmost penalties. A federal district courtroom choose will decide any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Tips and different statutory elements.
Jessica D. Aber, U.S. Lawyer for the Japanese District of Virginia, and Wayne A. Jacobs, Particular Agent in Cost of the FBI Washington Area Workplace, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Decide Leonie M. Brinkema.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Cristina Stam and Gordon Kromberg are prosecuting the case.
A duplicate of this press launch is positioned on the web site of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Japanese District of Virginia. Associated courtroom paperwork and knowledge are positioned on the web site of the District Court for the Japanese District of Virginia or on PACER by looking for Case No. 1:22-cr-154.