Ten local men charged in relation to dog fighting ring

ROCK ISLAND -- Ten men are facing charges stemming from a dog fighting ring.

The men are accused of conspiring "to sponsor pit-bull type dogs in fights as well as buying, selling, training, and possessing dogs to participate in such fights," according to a statement from the Department of Justice. This went on from 2011 through April of 2016.

"According to the indictment, the defendants allegedly scheduled and conducted dog fights for sport and entertainment and wagered money on fight results," read the statement.

The men charged are: 29-year-old Demarlo A. McCoy, 42-year-old Ryan M. Hickman, 40-year-old Andre Keywan Lidell, 46-year-old Algerron Lee Goldsmith, 29-year-old Stantrel Vontrez Knight, 28-year-old Simmeon Terrell Hall, 43-year-old Sherrick Cornelius Houston, 34-year-old Willie Earl Jackson, and 43-year-old Terrell Onterial McDuffy.  In addition, 27-year-old Jaquan Leontae Jones was charged with a single misdemeanor count of knowingly attending a dog fight.

They were arrested on Tuesday, January 31, 2017.  All of them are from Rock Island, except for McDuffy, who is from Davenport.

Back in April of 2016, 64 of dogs were rescued in a dog fighting ring bust. According to a complaint, those dogs were involved in this case, read the Department of Justice's statement.

The government has taken 27 of the dogs into their custody. On January 26, 2017 the court granted the government's motion for default pertaining to 24 more dogs. Two dogs have been euthanized, five were voluntarily surrendered, and three have died, according to the statement.

The specific charges are listed as follows:

Demarlo A. McCoy: Conspiracy to sponsor/exhibit pit bulls in an animal fighting venture (1 count), Sponsoring/exhibiting an animal in an AFV (4 counts), Possessing an animal for purposes of having the animal participate in an AFV (1 count)

Ryan M. Hickman: Conspiracy to sponsor/exhibit pit bulls in an animal fighting venture (1 count), Possessing an animal for purposes of having the animal participate in an AFV (1 count)

Andre Keywan Lidell: Conspiracy to sponsor/exhibit pit bulls in an animal fighting venture (1 count), Sponsoring/exhibiting an animal in an AFV (2 counts), Possessing an animal for purposes of having the animal participate in an AFV (1 count)

Algerron Lee Goldsmith: Conspiracy to sponsor/exhibit pit bulls in an animal fighting venture (1 count), Possessing an animal for purposes of having the animal participate in an AFV (1 count)

Stantrel Vontrez Knight: Conspiracy to sponsor/exhibit pit bulls in an animal fighting venture (1 count), Sponsoring/exhibiting an animal in an AFV (1 count), Possessing an animal for purposes of having the animal participate in an AFV (1 count)

Terrell Onterial McDuffy: Conspiracy to sponsor/exhibit pit bulls in an animal fighting venture (1 count)

Simmeon Terrell Hall: Conspiracy to sponsor/exhibit pit bulls in an animal fighting venture (1 count), Sponsoring/exhibiting an animal in an AFV (3 counts), Transporting an animal for purposes of having the animal participate in AFV (1 count)

Sherrick Cornelius Houston: Conspiracy to sponsor/exhibit pit bulls in an animal fighting venture (1 count), Possessing an animal for purposes of having the animal participate in an AFV (1 count)

Willie Earl Jackson: Conspiracy to sponsor/exhibit pit bulls in an animal fighting venture (1 count), sponsoring/exhibiting an animal in an AFV (1 count)

Jaquan Leontae Jones: Knowingly attending an animal fighting venture (1 count)