NFL quarterback Michael Vick has signed a plea agreement admitting participating in a dogfighting ring based on property he owned in Surry County and he financed the gambling enterprise.
The Atlanta Falcons star said in a statement of facts filed today that he agreed to the killing of six to eight dogs that did not perform well in "test" fights conducted at his dogfighting venture - Bad Newz Kennels - at 1915 Moonlight Road. They were killed by violent means that included hanging and drowning.
Vick, also known as "Oookie," admitted the dogs died as a result of the "collective efforts" of him and his colleagues, but not that he took a direct hand in the killings.
In a statement of facts filed in U.S. District Court in Richmond, Vick admits providing thousands of dollars for purses in dogfighting matches.
But the statement of facts specifies that Vick did not gamble by placing sidebets on any dogfights and did not receive the proceeds of any of the purses won by Bad Newz Kennels.
Vick, 27, a Newport News native and Virginia Tech phenom, is set to plead guilty Monday morning before U.S. District Judge Henry E. Husdon on a dog fighting and gambling conspiracy charge.
He is facing a maximum of five years in prison. He is set to plead guilty before U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson at 10:30 a.m. Monday.
Vick says in his statement that he bought the Moonlight Road property for $34,000 on June 29, 2001, as a staging area for housing and training pit bulls for dog fighting and hosting dog fights. A fence was erected, sheds were built to house training equipment, injured dogs and organized fights.
Dogs were kept in kennels or chained to buried automobile axles allowing the dogs to avoid getting tangled.
The participants bought dogs for use in fights as well as trained and bred them. The fighting prowess of the dogs was also tested, and some of those that did not measure up were killed.
Dogs were sometimes brought to North Carolina and Georgia for fights in which thousands of dollars would be bet on the outcome. Fights occurred on the second floor of a shed on Moonlight Road with dogs from states that included New Jersey, North and South Carolina and Maryland.
Stay with inRich.com for more today and read tomorrow's Richmond Times-Dispatch.