News and Press Releases

Joint Federal-State Investigation charges 12 Milwaukee Residents with Dog Fighting

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 3, 2014

 James L. Santelle, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin and John T. Chisolm, Milwaukee County District Attorney announced today that 10 defendants were charged federally and 2 defendants were charged locally for engaging in animal fighting ventures.  The five federal indictments identified a total of 23 dogs possessed by the defendants for the purpose of participating in and training for dog fighting.  The defendants are charged with violations of either Title 7, United States Code, Section 2156(b) (buying, selling, delivering, possessing, training or transporting animals for participation in an animal fighting venture); or with violations of Title 18, United States Code,  Section 371 (conspiracy to commit the aforementioned crime).  All of the defendants are residents of Milwaukee, WI.  The defendants’ federal charges are as follows:

No of Counts
Defendant/Age
Charges
Penalties

2

Tiana Arnold

18 U.S.C. §371
7 U.S.C. §2156(b)

For each count- 5 years, $250,000 fine, 3 years supervised release.

2

Demetrius Boyce, 45

7 U.S.C. §2156(b)

For each count- 5 years, $250,000 fine, 3 years supervised release.

2

Alicia Brown, 40

18 U.S.C. §371
7 U.S.C. §2156(b)

For each count- 5 years, $250,000 fine, 3 years supervised release.

2

Tyrone Lewis, 30

18 U.S.C. §371
7 U.S.C. §2156(b)

For each count- 5 years, $250,000 fine, 3 years supervised release.

2

Cheryl Richards, 56

18 U.S.C. §371
7 U.S.C. §2156(b)

For each count- 5 years, $250,000 fine, 3 years supervised release.

2

Gary Richards, 56

18 U.S.C. §371
7 U.S.C. §2156(b)

For each count- 5 years, $250,000 fine, 3 years supervised release.

4

Terry Robinson, 35

18 U.S.C. §371
7 U.S.C. §2156(b); 18 U.S.C. §1952(a)(3)-interstate travel or transportation in aid of unlawful activity

For each count- 5 years, $250,000 fine, 3 years supervised release.

1

Emmitt Smith, 37

7 U.S.C. §2156(b)

5 years, $250,000 fine, 3 years supervised release.

2

William Walker, 31

18 U.S.C. §371
7 U.S.C. §2156(b)

For each count- 5 years, $250,000 fine, 3 years supervised release.

2

Darry Wortham, 29

18 U.S.C. §371
7 U.S.C. §2156(b)

For each count- 5 years, $250,000 fine, 3 years supervised release.

Two defendants are charged with violations of Wisconsin statutes, namely: Travis L. Hazlett (age 31) and Thomas Zollicoffer (age 24).  Hazlett is charged in a four-count criminal complaint, including charges of Instigating Fights Between Animals and Mistreatment of Animals.  Both Charges are Class I felonies with a maximum penalty each of 3 years and 6 months imprisonment, and a $10,000 fine.  Zollicoffer is charged in a four-count criminal complaint with violations of the same statutes. 

Today, law enforcement officials arrested nine of the charged defendants. One individual, William Walker is still at large. Law enforcement executed six federal search warrants, whereupon they recovered 22 live dogs, 1 dead dog, 3 firearms, and other instrumentalities associated with dog fighting.

The defendants were charged after a long-term investigation conducted by the Milwaukee Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, in conjunction with the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office, the United States Attorney’s Office, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), and the Milwaukee Area Domestic Animal Control Commission (MADACC).  The Drug Enforcement Administration, Milwaukee High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Department, Greenfield Police Department, Wisconsin State Patrol, West Allis Police Department, Wisconsin Division of Criminal Investigation, United States Marshals Service, and Homeland Security Investigations also assisted in the investigation.

The cases are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Bridget J. Domaszek and Assistant District Attorney Kurt Benkley. 

An indictment is merely the formal method of charging an individual and does not constitute inference of his or her guilt. An individual is presumed innocent until such time, if ever, that the government establishes his or her guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

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