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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Ohio

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Akron man sentenced to two years in prison for operating a dog-fighting venture

An Akron man was sentenced to two years in prison for operating a dog-fighting venture and related counts, law enforcement officials said.

Alvin Banks, 56, was also ordered to pay more than $44,000 in restitution to the Human Society of Greater Akron.

Banks pleaded guilty earlier this year to five counts: sponsoring and exhibiting a canine in an animal fighting venture; buying, selling, delivering, possessing, training and transporting canines for participation in an animal fighting venture; attending an animal-fighting venture; being a felon in possession of firearms and ammunition and possession with intent to manufacture and distribute less than 50 marijuana plants.

The sentenced was announced by Steven M. Dettelbach, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, Stephen D. Anthony, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Cleveland Office, Akron Police Chief James Nice, Summit County Sheriff Steve Barry and Summit County Prosecutor Sherry Bevan Walsh.

"This defendant had a dog-fighting ring at his home, and a firearm that he was forbidden from having," Dettelbach said. "The entire range of conduct uncovered at Banks' home was disturbing."

Banks is one of 10 people to plead guilty in federal court related to a dog-fighting operation uncovered in Akron last year. They will be sentenced in July.

Federal and local authorities raided a home on Cordova Avenue in Akron on Nov. 15, 2014 as part of an investigation into dog fighting. In addition to firearms, narcotics and more than $52,000 in cash, investigators discovered a blood-stained 16x16 foot ring used as part of an animal fighting venture, as well as two “break sticks” used to pry a dog’s mouth and teeth off another dog when the fight is finished. They also found eight pit bull or pit bull mixes, two of which were covered in blood and had fresh wounds from a fight that occurred just prior to the execution of the search warrant, according to court documents.

The investigation preceding the indictment was conducted by the Akron Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Summit County Sheriff’s Office, with assistance from the Summit County Prosecutor’s Office and the Humane Society of Greater Akron. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Linda H. Barr.

Updated January 8, 2016