Jury convicts one, acquits another in Pensacola-based dog fighting operation

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PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — A federal jury has convicted one man and acquitted another after three others pleaded guilty for their involvement in the dog fighting operation.

Shane Patrick Sprague, 35, was convicted of felony conspiracy to violate the dog fighting prohibitions of the federal Animal Welfare Act. Sprague operated C Wood Kennels which is a dog fighting operation that arranged dogfights and trafficked in fighting dogs against one another.

The jury acquitted co-defendant Derek Jedidiah Golson of Pensacola.

James “Tommy” Peek and Haley Cook Murph, both of Milton, along with David Lee Moser, of Waynesboro, Tenn., previously pleaded guilty to seven federal felonies for their involvement with Sprague and other in the dog fighting operation centered in Pensacola.

Each of the eight counts of conviction carries a maximum of five years in prison and a criminal fine of up to $250,000.

Murph traveled to Steele, Ala. to purchase a fighting dog and possessed the dog for purposes of using the dog in animal fighting, according to prosecutors. Her role was a makeshift “veterinarian” for C Wood Kennels although she has no veterinary license. She admitted to performing surgical procedures on dogs injured in the fights and surgically removing dogs’ ears for the purpose of dog fighting. Two dogs in her “care” died from their fighting injuries, prosecutors said.

Peek admitted to selling dogs to Sprague believing the dogs would be used for dog fighting, the U.S. Attorney’s office said.

“These barbaric acts of animal cruelty have no place in a civilized society, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office will pursue and prosecute these criminals to the fullest extent of the law,” said U.S. Attorney Lawrence Keefe of the Northern District of Florida. “Societies are measured in part by how well they treat their domestic animals, and these defendants failed that test miserably and now will pay the consequences.”

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