RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — NFL star Michael Vick was indicted by a federal grand jury Tuesday on charges of sponsoring a dogfighting operation so grisly the losers either died in the pit or sometimes were electrocuted, drowned, hanged or shot.
The Atlanta Falcons quarterback and three others were charged with competitive dogfighting, procuring and training pit bulls for fighting and conducting the enterprise across state lines.
The operation was named “Bad Newz Kennels,” according to the indictment, and the dogs were housed, trained and fought at a property owned by Vick in Surry County, Va.
The 18-page federal indictment, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, alleges the 27-year-old Vick and his co-defendants began the dogfighting operation in early 2001.
The indictment states that dogs fought to the death — or close to it.
If convicted, Vick could face up to six years in prison, $350,000 in fines and restitution.
Telephone messages left at the offices and home of Vick’s attorney, Larry Woodward, were not returned.