Man Accused Of Being Michael Vick's Dogfighting Associate Scheduled To Enter Plea
Wednesday, October 24th 2007, 9:24 am
By: News On 6
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ A man accused of selling a pit bull to suspended NFL quarterback Michael Vick's dogfighting operation and sponsoring a pit bull in dogfights was due in federal court Wednesday to enter a plea.
Oscar Allen is charged with conspiracy to travel in interstate commerce to aid in illegal gambling and to sponsor a dog in animal fighting _ the same charge to which Vick and his three co-defendants in the Bad Newz Kennels operation pleaded guilty. Vick is expected to be sentenced in December.
Allen, also known as ``Virginia O,'' was to appear at a bond hearing before his scheduled plea before U.S. District Judge Henry Hudson, who has handled the Vick case. A plea agreement had not been filed with the clerk's office.
Gerald Zerkin, a federal public defender, was to represent Allen. He was on his way to court and could not be reached for comment, his office said.
In documents filed at U.S. District Court, prosecutors allege that Allen sold a female pit bull named Jane in 2001 to Bad Newz Kennels, and traveled with Vick's dogfighting associates to Jane's fights.
Allen also is accused of advising Vick and his co-defendants on managing and caring for pit bulls used in the Surry County dogfighting operation, and helping Vick and his associates pit their dogs against each other to determine which ones were good fighters, according to the document, filed by the U.S. attorney's office.
Allen didn't help kill the six to eight dogs that failed to perform well, prosecutors said.
The details outlined in the indictment against Vick and related court filings fueled a public backlash against the Atlanta Falcons star and cost him several lucrative endorsement deals, even before he agreed to plead guilty to the dogfighting conspiracy charge.
In his plea, Vick admitted to helping kill the underperforming pit bulls and supplying money for gambling on the fights. He said he didn't personally place any bets or share in any winnings.
The NFL suspended him indefinitely and without pay.
Vick and his co-defendants still face state felony dogfighting charges.