DUBLIN, Ga. (WJBF) – Three men have admitted in court to participating in a dog-fighting operation in 2018, busted that year in Dodge County.
There are four other defendants in the case.
Benjamin Shinhoster III, 41, of Augusta, Deveon Hood, 34, of Tennille, Ga., and Andre Archer, 23, of Sandersville, Ga., entered guilty pleas on Wednesday.
Shinhoster pled guilty to Sponsoring and Exhibiting a Dog in an Animal Fighting Venture.
Hood and Archer each pled guilty to Conspiracy.
These charges carry a penalty of up to five years in prison, with financial penalties and up to three years of supervised release after completion of any prison term.
“Along with our law enforcement partners, our office is committed to eradicating these animal fighting operations that are nothing more than organized contests of cruelty,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Estes. “Such barbaric activities will continue to find an intensely unwelcoming environment in the Southern District of Georgia.”
The lead defendant in the investigation, 46-year-old James Lampkin, aka “Pookie,” of Eastman, Ga., awaits trial on charges of Conspiracy to Violate the Animal Welfare Act, and 63 counts of Possessing and Training a Dog for Purposes of an Animal Fighting Venture.
63 dogs seized March 17, 2018, on his property where a federal indictment alleges dog fights were taking place.
Also charged and awaiting further legal proceedings are:
- Xavier Simmons, 34, of Sandersville, Ga., charged with Conspiracy to Violate the Animal Welfare Act, and Attending an Animal Fighting Venture;
- Joe Ford, 33, of Elgin, S.C., charged with Conspiracy to Violate the Animal Welfare Act, and Attending an Animal Fighting Venture; and,
- Dwight McDuffie, 44, of Eastman, Ga., charged with Attending an Animal Fighting Venture.