51-Count Superseding Indictment For Dogfighting Conspiracy
TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA – A federal grand jury has returned a superseding indictment charging three
men – including a Federal Bureau of Prisons employee – with 51 counts of federal dogfighting
offenses. The charges stem from an investigation into drug trafficking and a large- scale illegal
dogfighting operation involving over 100 dogs. The superseding indictment was announced by Lawrence
Keefe, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida.
Most of the dogs used by the defendants were recovered by the United States Marshals Service and
have been placed with appropriate foster organizations.
The defendants named in this indictment are:
● Jermaine Terrell Hadley, 31, Quincy, Florida;
● Leonard Safford, 37, Gretna, Florida;
● Decarlise Chapman, 46, Marianna, Florida.
The superseding indictment adds Chapman, who is an employee of the Federal Bureau of Prisons, as a
defendant in the case. Hadley and Stafford, among several other individuals, were named in the June
4, 2019, indictment in this case, but the other defendants have entered guilty pleas and therefore
are not included the superseding indictment.
“From the beginning, this case has shocked the sensibilities of decent, law-abiding people
throughout the Northern District of Florida – and it’s even more shocking when an individual in a
position of public trust has been added to those charged with these shameful activities,” U.S.
Attorney Keefe said.
The superseding indictment and arrests resulted from an extensive investigation by the Organized
Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF), a joint federal, state, and local cooperative, which
targeted a drug trafficking organization that also allegedly organized and conducted a large-scale
illegal dogfighting operation throughout the Northern District of Florida between 2014 and 2019.
During the investigation, undercover operations were conducted to infiltrate the ring; execute
multiple search warrants on properties allegedly involved in training, housing, and conducting illegal dogfights; and successfully raid a dogfight in progress.
If convicted, the charged defendants face penalties of up to five years imprisonment and fines up
to $250,000, per count. Trial is set for February 3, 2020, at 8:15 a.m., at the United States
Courthouse in Tallahassee.
Participating in the investigation of the cases were the Drug Enforcement Administration, the
Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General, Homeland Security Investigations, the Bureau
of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the United States Marshals Service, the
U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of Inspector General, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Air
and Marine Operations, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Gadsden County Sheriff’s Office,
the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, the Florida Highway Patrol, the Chattahoochee Police
Department, the Tallahassee Police Department, the Leon County Sheriff’s Office, the Calhoun County
Sheriff’s Office, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, and the Florida Air National Guard
Counterdrug Program. The cases are being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Eric
The OCDETF approach to combating drug trafficking is the nation’s primary tool for disrupting and
dismantling major drug trafficking organizations, targeting national and regional level drug
trafficking organizations, and coordinating the necessary law enforcement entities and resources to
disrupt and dismantle the targeted criminal organization and seize its assets.
An indictment is merely an allegation by a grand jury that a defendant has committed a violation of
federal criminal law and is not evidence of guilt. All defendants are presumed innocent and
entitled to a fair trial, during which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a
The United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Florida is one of 94 offices that
serve as the nation’s principal litigators under the direction of the Attorney General. To access
public court documents online, please visit the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of
Florida website. For more information about the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern
District of Florida, visit http://www.justice.gov/usao/fln/index.html.