MUSKOGEE, OK -- A Tahlequah man as entered a guilty plea in connection to a multi-state dog fighting sting. Jerry Ray Miller, 48, pled guilty to possession of animals for participation in animal fighting, according to a new release from Sheldon J. Sperling United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Oklahoma.
Miller's arrest was part of a federal investigation in July of 2009 that led to the arrest of about 30 people and the seizure of about 350 dogs in Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Texas and Oklahoma.
The investigation showed Miller hosted dog fights in an arena located on his property. During the July 2009 search warrant at Miller's residence, law enforcement officials discovered items including the dog fighting arena, scales used to weigh dogs, break sticks used to separate dogs during the fights, medical supplies, muzzles, chains and treadmills used to train dogs for fighting. Law enforcement officials also located and seized 12 pit bull terriers.
The Tahlequah man was indicted in April 2010. The Indictment alleged that in 2009, Miller conspired with others to promote and sponsor pit bull terriers in an animal fighting venture as well as possessing pit bull terriers for participation in an animal fighting venture.
Miller is on bond pending sentencing. He can be sentenced to not more than five years imprisonment and up to $250,000 in fines. A preliminary calculation of the sentencing guidelines predicts a term of 6-12 months imprisonment, Sperling said.