SHREVEPORT, La. (KLFY) – A Louisiana man has been sentenced to prison for dog fighting.
Charles Calvin Akins, 52, of Many, was sentenced to 15 months in prison, followed by two years of supervised release, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office Western District of Louisiana.
Atkins was charged in February and pled guilty to the charge of possession of a dog for use in an animal fighting venture. According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Atkins is a convicted felon, having been convicted of carnal knowledge of a juvenile in 1988, as well as aggravated assault and unauthorized use of a movable in 2016.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office said that agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) obtained a search warrant for Akins’ home in Many, La. on Jan. 19. During the search, agents found 15 pit bull-type dogs in the backyard.
Inside a nearby shed was a homemade treadmill with a small dog-sized running belt. The U.S. Attorney’s Office said that these treadmills are commonly used by dog fighters to train and condition their dogs for fights.
Inside another shed, agents found a pistol and a large toolbox containing a large metal spring device, metal scale, animal medications, heavy metal chains, a dog-breading device and carpet pieces. All of these items are also commonly used by dog fighters to strengthen the dogs’ bite and weigh the game dogs. The U.S. Attorney’s Office said that the pieces of carpet are used to line fighting pits and provide traction for their game dogs.
The dogs were seized and given behavioral and medical assessments. Several of the dogs had scars and wounds around the back legs, neck and rear. The U.S. Attorney’s Office also said that the dogs displayed aggressive behavior toward other dogs.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Akins admitted that the dogs were possessed for use in dog-fighting events for the purposes of sport, wagering, or entertainment.
“Dog fighting is not only against the law, but an inhumane way of treating animals,” said U.S. Attorney Brandon B. Brown. “Individuals who participate in this type of activity should be aware that it is illegal to participate or wager in dog or cock fights. This office will continue to work with federal and local law enforcement agencies to put a stop to this kind of activity in the Western District of Louisiana.”
The case was investigated by the ATF and the FBI. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian C. Flanagan.