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Michael Vick indicted on dog-fighting charges

 The Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick has been indicted on dog-fighting charges, part of a federal case.

Michael Vick indicted on dog-fighting charges Court papers filed in Richmond, Virginia, on Tuesday mention Michael Vick as a defendant in a federal criminal case. According to the documents, Vick is charged with conspiracy to travel in interstate commerce in aid of unlawful activities and to sponsor a dog in an animal fighting venture.

 The charges stem from the month-long investigation by the FBI and local Virginia authorities of an illegal dogfight ring, which used property belonging to the Atlanta Falcons player Michael Vick. Vick's Surry County property had been the target of a dog fighting investigation since April, when dozens of pit bulls and equipment used in dog fighting were found during a drug investigation.

 According to the court papers, the name of the dog-fighting operation was "Bad Newz Kennels". The indictment alleges that the 27-year-old Vick and his co-defendants began a grisly dog fighting operation in early 2001 in which dogs fought to the death - or close. Losing dogs were sometimes killed by electrocution, drowning, hanging or gunshots.

 The three other defendants listed are Purnell A. Peace, also known as "P-Funk" and "Funk," Quanis L. Phillips, known as "Q", and Tony Taylor, known as "T." According to the documents filed today, Vick went by the nickname "Ookie."

 NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy commented on the Vick's indictment: "We are disappointed that Michael Vick has put himself in a position where a federal grand jury has returned an indictment against him. The activities alleged are cruel, degrading and illegal. Michael Vick's guilt has not yet been proven, and we believe that all concerned should allow the legal process to determine the facts."

 At the beginning of the investigation, Michael Vick claimed that he had no knowledge of the illegal dog fighting operation, and blamed his relative for taking advantage of his generosity. If convicted, Michael Vick faces up to six years in prison, plus fines.

Follow the links below to get the background of the "Bad Newz Kennels" story.

Published on 07/17/2007

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 "Bad Newz Kennels" ran dog fights on Michael Vick property
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