July 17, 2007

Falcons QB Indicted On Dogfighting Conspiracy

The Atlanta Falcons may have to count on their backup quarterback in the 2007 season. According to ABC News, a grand jury indicted the star QB on felony charges surrounding an alleged dogfighting conspiracy centered at his mansion:

Michael Vick has been indicted by a federal grand jury in connection with the dogfighting probe of his property in Virginia.

The Falcons quarterback was indicted for conspiracy to travel in interstate commerce in aid of unlawful activities and to sponsor a dog in an animal fighting venture in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District in Richmond, Va. Three others -- Purnell Peace, Quanis Phillips and Tony Taylor -- also were indicted by the grand jury on the same charges.

According to court documents filed by federal authorities earlier this month, dog fights have been sponsored by "Bad Newz Kennels" at the property since at least 2002. For the events, participants and dogs traveled from South Carolina, North Carolina, Maryland, New York, Texas and other states.

Members of the venture also knowingly transported, delivered and received dogs for animal fighting, the documents state.

Fifty-four pit bulls were recovered from the property during searches in April, along with a "rape stand," used to hold dogs in place for mating; an electric treadmill modified for dogs; and a bloodied piece of carpeting, the documents said.

The alleged perpetrators carefully bathed the dogs before a fight. Some participants apparently would occasionally put poison on the dogs' coats in order to disable its opponent. This consideration would end in a loss; if the dog survived, they would kill it by electrocution, drowning, strangulation, gun shot, or whatever other method was handy.

Vick denied that he had any connection to the activities on his property. He sold it after the initial search, but apparently not quickly enough to convince federal investigators. He stopped talking about the case over the last couple of months -- a wise move. The federal grand jury didn't need to hear from him to hand down the indictments.

Why federal and not state investigators? The conspiracy crossed several state lines. Bad Newz Kennels staged dogfights as far north as New Jersey and as far south as South Carolina. The Virginia Attorney General originally accused federal officials of going after Vick because of his celebrity, then changed his tune when the extent of the ring became apparent.

I like watching Vick on the football field, even though I'm usually rooting against him. He's exciting and unpredictable. However, if he's guilty of this, he should do some serious prison time for participating in such a cruel so-called "sport". It's despicable, and if convicted, the NFL should think twice before allowing him back in the game -- and not just for the cruelty, but for the gambling as well.


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Atlanta Falcon QB Michael Vick has gone to the dogs. Or as we like to say, “Ookie is in big dookie”. If we are talking sports these days, we must be discussing a police blotter, indictment or arrest. Michael Vick has been indicted by a Federal... [Read More]

Comments (22)

Posted by Tom Shipley | July 17, 2007 7:21 PM

Aren't the prosecutors aware that Vick's been cleared of any wrongdoing by Clinton Portis?

Posted by Joshua | July 17, 2007 7:46 PM

[I]f convicted, the NFL should think twice before allowing him back in the game -- and not just for the cruelty, but for the gambling as well.

While the gambling in this case was illegal, it wasn't gambling on NFL games, so the league might not be terribly concerned with that. However, what should concern them is the company Vick has chosen, which does reflect badly on Vick, the Falcons and the NFL, and is exactly what got "Pacman" Jones and "Tank" Johnson into hot water with the league. In those cases, the NFL didn't even wait for a conviction to hand down punishment, and I presume they won't wait around with Vick either.

Posted by philw | July 17, 2007 7:54 PM

Clearly the guy is involved with illegal felonious dog fighting. Were it cats, the death penalty would be appropriate. Pure entertainment aside, Vick is (er, was) the most over rated NFL QB. Falcons gotta regret trading Schwab.

Posted by Terrence | July 17, 2007 8:23 PM

What a creep. Let's pay him millions of dollars to play football.

Posted by Del Dolemonte | July 17, 2007 8:34 PM

Atlanta Falcons Head Coach = Thankless Job.

Two ex Falcons head coaches who wised up and got outta Dodge were June Jones and Jerry Glanville, who have recently teamed up and turned the University of Hawaii Rainbow Warriors into national contenders (they were in the Top 25 last season). They both wear leis on the sideline during games.

Posted by poodlemom | July 17, 2007 9:04 PM

Vick is just another "gangsta". I used to live in Atlanta and still follow the Falcons closely. The bloom is definitely off the rose as far as Vick is concerned. There are a lot of questions as to whether or Vick has the skills necessary to learn all that is required to be a successful QB in the NFL.

Vick IS a gifted athlete as an individual; he hasn't really shown that he is capable of utilizing those skills to move to the higher level required by the NFL.

Vick prefers to listen to his "posse" rather than the QB coach. He looks and sounds like a thug; yep, that's what the Falcons got, a thug!

Posted by John | July 17, 2007 9:15 PM

Reading about Vick earlier this evening on the profootballtalk.com website, the most damning count appears to be that Vick and his co-defendants, Peace, and Phillips executed "approximately" eight dogs in April of this year that did not perform well in "testing" sessions, by "hanging, drowning, and slamming at least one dog's body to the ground."

April 25 is when Vick's kennel was first raided as part of a separate drug investigation, so the dog killings were allegedly going on right up until the time of the raid. Even if the NFL withholds any action pending further action by federal officials, it's hard to see Vick's participation with the Falcons this year as being anything less than a media circus.

Posted by John Adams | July 17, 2007 9:17 PM

Dog fighting? Yes, my friends, this is exactly why the pathetic FBI is stained forever by their ghastly failure over 9/11. Clearly, they have learned absolutely nothing and continue to waste precious Federal resources on popular nonsense in which they have no business. They are well on their way to another massive failure. What next? How about investigating New York teenagers, under the Mann Act, for taking their girl friends two miles over to Hoboken, N.J., for “immoral purposes” (this was one of Hoover’s great favorites of interstate crime). The FBI is not in the game, and apparently never will be! Clearly the entire top management of this positively silly, ineffectual, agency must be terminated and replaced with competent officials, such as those that cleaned up New York City. The FBI is, and remains, a joke! They have made another elaborate Federal case out of a matter that could have been resolved by sheriff Billy Bob of Virginia in 48 hours! If the bozo in charge of the FBI was directly responsible to the people of this country, much like a big city police chief, he would be out of office faster than it would take sheriff Billy Bob to resolve the great dog fighting scandal!

Posted by AnonymousDrivel | July 17, 2007 9:21 PM

Vick initially said he had no idea the property might have been used in a criminal enterprise and blamed family members for taking advantage of his generosity.
To the latter I could certainly understand. To the former... yeah, right. It's just his home. How could he possibly be aware of late night dogfighting somewhere on the grounds or that no one discussed this at all with him even in passing or through the grapevine. Why, that's just unfathomable.

If he partook in this "sport," as management I hope he gets the same restraint as the abused labor... namely incarceration. The chains can be replaced by bars.

Posted by viking01 | July 17, 2007 9:53 PM

If he's any good at basketball then all he needs are two more felonies, preferably carjacking and narcotics distribution. Then he'll be eligible for the NBA draft.

Posted by Anthony (Los Angeles) | July 17, 2007 9:54 PM

This could be a real test of Commissioner Goodell's "get tough" on bad behavior policy: Pacman Jones was one thing, but Vick is a legitimate (albeit media-created) money-drawing star. If he wants the League to have any credibility in its "clean up" drive, he has to treat Vick like any other player.

Posted by Master Shake | July 17, 2007 10:00 PM

What, John Adams' children were kidnapped and child porn of them is being distributed daily? Let Billy Bob handle it. We wouldn't want John to get mad that the FBI is investigating crimes other than those that HE thinks are important.

Posted by Darren | July 17, 2007 10:10 PM

This is ridiculous. The feds are involved? The FBI is unconstitutional, and this just goes to show why the federal government was never intended to be involved in law enforcement. It also says something about our society that the so-called 'crimes' of gambling and dogfighting are illegal. Is there any invasion of person or property involved. No. So it shouldn't be a crime (I know, I'm an idealist). The NFL, or any organization, would be wise to drop Vick like a bad habit. No one in their right mind would want to be associated with someone who could do those kinds of things to dogs. See, the free market has ways of dealing with this kind of thing. Absolutely no need for government to be involved.

Posted by Labamigo | July 18, 2007 12:18 AM

It looks like the NBA is going to follow the lead of the NFL under Goodell and try to rid their league of the influence of gangstas and posses. Stern has apparently had enough of Jackson and Artest and the acts of others like them, but he never would have taken his recent steps to hand them mini suspensions but for the fact that Roger Gooddell has given him cover by suspending Pacman Jones for what may amount to the whole season. I doubt that Vick will play this season, and may be done for his career.

Posted by flenser | July 18, 2007 1:27 AM

I get the impression that John Adams got into trouble for taking a teen into Hoboken at some point. Although I don't see why he expects us to care.

Posted by Tucson Annie | July 18, 2007 1:44 AM

John Adams, is obviously not a dog lover. To me, I'm glad that the FBI is doing the job of stopping jerks like this quarterback from abusing poor animals....anyone who can so easily treat a dog badly is not a moral person in my opinion.....


Posted by docjim505 | July 18, 2007 3:59 AM

Hanging's too good for those who engage in this sort of activity.

Posted by Cybrludite [TypeKey Profile Page] | July 18, 2007 7:10 AM

If true, then he needs to go to the Special Hell (normally reserved for child molesters & people who talk during movies) for this. It's not like cock-fighting where the roosters would naturally fought each other to the death if they met in the wild. The dogs have to be "trained" to do this, and by "trained" i mean that they're mistreated to the point where they're beserk.

Posted by Dale Michaud aka TexasDude | July 18, 2007 7:50 AM

For those that belittle efforts such as this combating animal cruelty should remember that before we had laws against harming children, we had laws against harming animals and the first case regarding child abuse used animal cruelty laws to prosecute!

Dog fighting, along with cock fighting, is one of the most brutal 'sports' that we force animals to engage in.

People love to claim that we in America are mimicking Rome when we celebrate the violence in football or hockey, but the reality is that those that make light of dog fighting and its cousings are much closer to those long dead Romans than those who watch a Sunday afternoon football game!

Posted by brainy435 [TypeKey Profile Page] | July 18, 2007 10:07 AM

Just FYI, but the Falcons already traded their backup QB, Matt Schwab, to the Texans back in March.


Posted by brainy435 [TypeKey Profile Page] | July 18, 2007 11:36 AM

But I forgot that they signed Joey Harrington As one commentator pointed out today, Harrington had a better statistical year in Miami than Vick did in Atlanta.

Posted by dan tolomeo | July 23, 2007 6:49 PM

Michael Vick is nothing but a ghetto thug and the dogs that he fought and tortured have more loyalty and a higher IQ than he does.