ASSISTANT U.S. ATTORNEY AND SPECIAL AGENT RECOGNIZED FOR SUCCESSFUL DOG FIGHTING PROSECUTIONS
Stephen R. Wigginton, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, announced today that Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Hudson and Senior Special Agent Carole Schmitt, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of Inspector General - Investigations, were both recognized for their contributions in a number of successful prosecutions relating to dog fighting offenses. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) and the Missouri State Highway Patrol presented awards to both individuals.
“I am keenly proud of and aware of the hard working individuals on my staff, but it is always pleasant to see their work recognized by outside agencies.” said United States Attorney Wigginton.
On July 8, 2009, a multi-state federal dog fighting raid resulted in the rescue of more than 500 fighting dogs. Federal agents made 26 arrests and dogs were rescued in 8 states. This rescue operation was the largest dog fighting raid in U.S. history. Participating in the investigation were the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the United States Department of Agriculture’s Office of the Inspector General, the Humane Society of Missouri, the U.S. Marshal Service, and the United States Attorneys in the Eastern and Western Districts of Missouri and the Southern District of Illinois. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Hudson, from the Southern District of Illinois, prosecuted 16 defendants. Those prosecuted received an average sentence of 17 months incarceration.