Detroit, Michigan - A Western Michigan man was sentenced in federal court to 30 months in prison for his role in a dog fighting conspiracy based in the surrounding counties of Grand Rapids. His sentence will be followed by three years of supervised release.
Charles Deon Davis Jr., 34, of Wyoming, Michigan, pleaded guilty in June 2018 to one felony count of conspiracy to sponsor and exhibit a dog in a dog fight and unlawful possession of dogs intended to be used for the purpose of dog fighting, and one felony count of felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition. The Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division and U.S. Attorney Andrew Byerly Birge of the Western District of Michigan made the announcement.
Davis and four co-defendants were indicted in a superseding indictment on April 18, 2018, for one conspiracy count and multiple counts of unlawful possession of animals intended to be used for the purpose of dog fighting. Davis was also indicted in a separate case for unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition by a felon. Co-defendant Damiane Buehrer was sentenced to 46 months imprisonment in October 2018. The remaining co-defendants, including Charles Joseph Miller, Kian Maliak Miller, and Jarvis Jason-Roy Askew, have pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing.
Between at least December 2016 and December 7, 2017, Davis co-owned and operated, with defendant Charles Miller, “Stick Wit Me Kennels,” for the purposes of breeding, training, conditioning, and developing dogs for participation in dog fighting. Davis kept four dogs for those purposes, which, together with those owned by his co-conspirators, for a total of 37 dogs, were seized by law enforcement as part of the investigation. Davis was also found to possess medication for the purpose of treating dogs for wounds received during dog fighting, as well as equipment for training the dogs, including a “break stick,” and “spring poles.” The co-defendants frequently exchanged electronic communications for the purpose of sharing information about training and conditioning dogs for fighting, breeding fighting dogs, contracting for and sponsoring dog fights, collecting forfeited funds when a contracted dog fight resulted in a forfeit, and sharing results of dog fights.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kate Zell and Hagen Frank, and Senior Trial Attorney Jennifer Blackwell of the Justice Department’s Environmental Crimes Section. The case is being investigated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture – Office of Inspector General, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, and the Ingham County Animal Control Office. The ASPCA assisted with the care of the dogs seized by federal law enforcement.