A Frederick man pleaded guilty in a federal case investigating a multi-state dogfighting conspiracy that resulted in at least one dog dying from its injuries, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

Emmanuel A. Powe Sr., 46, on May 10 pleaded guilty to one felony count of conspiracy to violate the animal-fighting prohibitions of the Animal Welfare Act, according to a statement released Tuesday from the DOJ. The maximum penalties include five years imprisonment, a fine of $250,000 and three years of supervised release, according to the plea agreement found in online court records.

Defense attorney Devin Luqman said Wednesday he and co-counsel Eugene Rossi would not comment on the case.

From approximately April 2013 through July 2018, Powe and co-defendants who also pleaded guilty “participated in animal-fighting ventures, involving training, transporting, breeding and dogfighting setups,” the DOJ statement reads. Powe and at least one co-conspirator bred, bought and sold dogs used or intended to be used in dogfighting, the statement of facts filed in online court records shows.

A statement of facts is a document containing facts of a case the defendant and prosecution agree would have been proven had the case gone to trial. It does not contain all of the information pertaining to a case.

Powe reportedly put a pit bull-type dog he owned and trained in a “two-card” dogfight in King George, Virginia, on April 3, 2016, court records state. His dog lost the fight, but it was unclear from court records whether this dog in particular died.

“The dogfighters subjected the dogs to arduous training for several weeks before the fighting event. At least one of the dogs died due to its injuries in this dog fight,” the DOJ release states.

Law enforcement officials searched Powe’s residence in the 1200 block of Palladian Way in Frederick and seized 10 pit bull-type dogs July 18, 2018, court records show. The dogs were reportedly kept in conditions consistent with use in dogfighting, and authorities found equipment used to train dogs for fights.

Between 2013 and 2015, Powe set up or attempted to set up “chain weight training dog fights” with co-conspirators, court records state.

The DOJ in its statement reported the defendants in their homes kept dog treadmills, “med kits,” “breeding stands” (to immobilize female dogs) and chains weighing up to several pounds per linear foot.

The case was prosecuted in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia Richmond Division, but the DOJ said dogfighting activity in this case occurred across D.C., Maryland and New Jersey.

Others who pleaded guilty to charges related to the dogfighting conspiracy were:

  • Odell S. Anderson Sr., 52, of Washington, D.C.
  • Chester A. Moody Jr., 46, of Glenn Dale, Maryland
  • Carlos L. Harvey, 46, of King George, Virginia

“Organized dogfighting — whether on a professional, hobbyist or street fighter level — has no place in our society,” Acting Assistant Attorney General Jean E. Williams of the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division said in the DOJ news release.

Powe’s sentencing is set for Sept. 1.

Follow Mary Grace Keller on Twitter: @MaryGraceKeller

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