ST. LOUIS (CN) – Five Missouri men who were arrested in the largest dog-fighting raid in U.S. history have pleaded guilty to federal charges. They admitted they inhumanely destroyed and abandoned pit bull terriers that lost fights, were hurt in them or were not aggressive enough.
Michael Morgan, Robert Hackman, Teddy Kiriakidis, Ronald Creach and Jack Ruppel admitted participating in the dog fighting ring between January 2008 and June 2009.
Morgan, 38, of Hannibal, and Hackman 56, of Foley, each pleaded guilty to one felony count of conspiracy to commit federal offenses and one felony count of animal fighting ventures.
Kiriakidis, 50, of Leasburg, and Creach, 34, of Leslie, each pleaded guilty to one felony count of conspiracy to commit federal offenses.
Ruppel, 35, of Eldon, pleaded guilty to related charges last week in the Western District of Missouri.
Each count carries up to 5 years in prison and $250,000 in fines. The men will be sentenced on Dec. 8.