Louisiana Man Convicted of Dog Fighting is Sentenced to Federal Prison
Published 6:45 am Thursday, December 22, 2022
SHREVEPORT, La. – United States Attorney Brandon B. Brown announced that Charles Calvin Akins, 52, of Many, Louisiana, has been sentenced by United States District Judge Elizabeth E. Foote to 15 months in prison, followed by 2 years of supervised release.
Akins was charged in a federal indictment in February 2022 and pleaded guilty to the charge of possession of a dog for use in an animal fighting venture. This charge is a result of an investigation by law enforcement agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) into illegal activities of Akins. Akins is a convicted felon, having been convicted of a felony charge of carnal knowledge of a juvenile in 1988, as well as misdemeanor convictions for aggravated assault and unauthorized use of a movable in 2016.
On January 19, 2022, agents with the ATF obtained a federal search warrant for Akins’ residence in Many, Louisiana. While planning the execution of the search warrant, agents observed 15 pit bull type dogs in the backyard of Akins’ residence. The dogs were chained in close proximity to each other but outside of biting reach and each dog had access to a small wooden structure. During the execution of the search warrant, agents observed the dogs, their chains, and their plywood structures. Each structure was surrounded by a circular path or “chain path.” The chain paths appeared to be worn dirt that the dogs would traverse around their plywood structures due to the restrictions of their chains.
Inside a nearby shed was a homemade treadmill with a small, dog-sized running belt made of wooden slats. These treadmills are commonly used by dog fighters to train and condition their dogs for fights. Inside another shed, agents found a pistol next to a large toolbox containing a large metal spring device, metal scale, and animal medications, as well as several heavy metal chains and metal stakes, a dog-breeding device and numerous carpet pieces. All of these items are commonly used by dog fighters to train and strengthen their dogs’ bite, weigh game dogs as they train and prepare them for upcoming fights, and for strength conditioning of the game dogs. Pieces of carpet are also commonly used by animal fighters to line fighting pits and provide traction for their game dogs. The dogs were seized and given behavioral and medical assessments. Several of the dogs had scars and wounds around the back legs, neck and rear, and displayed dog-aggressive behavior toward other dogs.
Akins admitted to owning and possessing the 15 dogs at his residence, along with the dog-fighting equipment found there. He also admitted that the dogs were possessed for use in dog-fighting events which would be conducted between at least two animals for purposes of sport, wagering, or entertainment, and that such dog-fighting events affected interstate commerce.
“Dog fighting is not only against the law, but an inhumane way of treating animals,” said U.S. Attorney Brandon B. Brown. “Individuals who participate in this type of activity should be aware that it is illegal to participate or wager in dog or cock fights. This office will continue to work with federal and local law enforcement agencies to put a stop to this kind of activity in the Western District of Louisiana.”
The case was investigated by the ATF and FBI and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian C. Flanagan.