Two men pleaded guilty Thursday in U.S. District Court, Rock Island, in connection with a large-scale dog-fighting ring in the Illinois and Iowa Quad-Cities that dates back to at least 2011.
Stantrel Vontrez Knight pleaded guilty to sponsoring or exhibiting dogs in dog fighting. He faces up to five years in prison when he is sentenced Sept. 21.
He remained in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service on Friday.
Jaquan L. Jones pleaded guilty to attending a dog fight, a misdemeanor. He also will be sentenced Sept. 21 and faces up to a year in prison.
Prosecutors asked that Jones, who is free on bond, be taken into custody prior to his sentencing. A detention hearing will be held Monday.
On April 14, 2016, investigators seized 64 pit bull-type dogs from 10 homes in Rock Island and one in Davenport as part of an investigation into a dog-fighting ring that began a year earlier through information developed by the Rock Island Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation Quad-Cities Federal Gang Task Force.
The seized dogs were placed into the custody of the American Society for the Prevention and Cruelty of Animals.
A day after the seizure, federal prosecutors filed a civil complaint seeking forfeiture of the dogs.
Knight, Jones and eight other men were indicted by a federal grand jury in February.