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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Georgia

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Two South Georgia Residents Sentenced On Dog Fighting And Firearms Charges

United States Attorney Michael J. Moore announced today that Raymond Lee Hendrix a/k/a “Georgia Lee” and “Lee”, of Echols County, Georgia; and Willie Henderson, of Lowndes County, Georgia, were sentenced in United States District Court in Valdosta to by the Honorable Hugh Lawson, Senior District Court Judge.

Mr. Hendrix pled guilty on June 25, 2015 to one count of conspiracy to travel in interstate commerce in aid of unlawful activities and to sponsor and exhibit a dog in an animal fighting venture.  He received a sentence of 16 months imprisonment.

Mr. Henderson entered a plea of guilty to one count of conspiracy to travel in interstate commerce in aid of unlawful activities and to sponsor and exhibit a dog in an animal fighting venture and to one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon on June 25, 2015.  Mr. Henderson was sentenced to the maximum term of imprisonment of 60 months on Count One followed by a sentence of 63 months imprisonment on Count Two with 33 months, to be served consecutively, for a total sentence of 93 months imprisonment.

In their plea agreements, Mr. Hendrix and Mr. Henderson admitted that between January 2008 and August 2013, they operated Clyattville Kennels, maintaining and training American Pit Bull Terriers for other dog fighters in exchange for a “tipping fee”, breeding and registering American Pit Bull Terriers and participating in organized dog fight gambling events throughout the Southeast.  In addition, Mr. Henderson admitted to possessing a rifle and shotgun, after having been convicted of a felony.  A copy of each plea agreement is attached. 

United States Attorney Michael Moore stated, “Today’s sentencing establishes that ‘man’s best friend’ always deserves humane and respectful treatment.  Perhaps the time these defendants spend locked in cages will send a strong message that cruel treatment of animals will never be tolerated.” 

Echols County Sheriff Randy Courson stated, “This case has been years in the making with a lot of hard work and many man hours of agencies working together to eliminate the cruel and inhumane treatment of these animals for profit.”            

The case resulted from an inter-agency investigation conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, United States Department of Agriculture – Office of Inspector General, Echols County (Georgia) Sheriff’s Office, Auburn (Alabama) Police Department, Bainbridge (Georgia) Department of Public Safety, Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board, Lee County (Georgia) Sheriff’s Office along with assistance from the Humane Society of the United States and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.   Assistant United States Attorney Julia C. Bowen prosecuted the case for the Government.

Inquiries regarding this case should be directed to Pamela Lightsey, United States Attorney’s Office at (478) 621-2603.

Violent Crime
Updated September 24, 2015