Macon man sentenced in dog fighting and drug distribution ring case

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MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) — The U.S. Department of Justice says the 12th defendant– a 40 year-old man from Macon–  has been sentenced after being involved in a dog fighting and drug distribution ring that has been active from May of 2019 to February of 2020.

Shelley Johnson (also known as Gold Mouth) of Macon was sentenced to serve the maximum sentence of 37 months in prison, as well as 3 years of supervised release and a $25,000 fine after pleading guilty to conspiracy to participate in an animal fighting venture. As part of the supervised release, Johnson will not be allowed to own or possess any dogs.

Court documents say both a cocaine distribution and dog fighting organization based out of Roberta, Georgia has been operating from May of 2019 until February of 2020, when authorities executed 15 residential search warrants and seized over 150 dogs that were being used for dog-fighting.  This operation extended into North Georgia, Florida, and Alabama as well, and led to 11 people being charged with various criminal activities, along with 3 others– including Johnson– who were charged by criminal information.

It was during this time that Johnson communicated with co-conspirator Jarvis Lockett about fighting and breeding dogs, dogs mauled and killed during the fighting, sharpening a dog’s teeth for fighting purposes, cash prizes, as well as various topics concerning the business and brutality of dog-fighting. Johnson also attended and participated as a handler in a dog fight, and was found to have 13 pit bull terrier type dogs with dog-fighting scars at his Macon residence. Investigators also found evidence of dog fighting activities including a digital scale, weighted collars, heavy chains, ground stakes, and medical supplies to treat injuries received from dog fighting.

Assistant Attorney General Todd Kim of the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division (ENRD) had this to say:

“Johnson participated in a brutal criminal enterprise that profited from the suffering of animals,” and “Dog-fighting is a crime, and also closely associated with other serious crimes. The sentences in this prosecution show those who engage in this cruel and inhumane practice face significant prison time.”

Others convicted and sentenced on this case are:

  • Lekey Davis aka Kee Boo, 46, of Talbotton, Georgia, was sentenced to serve 210 months of
    imprisonment after pleading guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine and
    cocaine base;
  • Christopher Raines aka Binky, 51, of Talbotton, was sentenced to serve 135 months of
    imprisonment to be followed by five years of supervised release and pay a $10,000 fine after
    pleading guilty to conspiracy to participate in an animal fighting venture and conspiracy to possess
    with intent to distribute cocaine and cocaine base;
  • Jarvis Lockett aka J-Rock, 41, of Warner Robins, Georgia, was sentenced to serve 120 months of
    imprisonment to be followed by three years of supervised release after pleading guilty to
    conspiracy to participate in an animal fighting venture and cocaine distribution;
  • Derrick Owens aka Doomie, 38, of Woodland, Georgia, was sentenced to serve 120 months of
    imprisonment after pleading guilty to conspiracy to participate in an animal fighting venture and
    conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine;
  • Jason Carter, 39, of Phoenix City, Alabama, was sentenced to serve 97 months of imprisonment
    after pleading guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine;
  • Vernon Vegas, 50, of Suwanee, Georgia, was sentenced to serve the maximum 60 months in
    prison to be followed by three years of supervised release and pay a $10,000 fine after pleading
    guilty to conspiracy to participate in an animal fighting venture;
  • Shaquille Bentley, 27, of Roberta, Georgia, was sentenced to serve 48 months of imprisonment
    after pleading guilty to use of a communication facility;
  • Rodrick Walton aka Rodrie Walton, 42, of Shiloh, Georgia, was sentenced to serve 24 months of
    imprisonment after pleading guilty to conspiracy to participate in an animal fighting venture;
  • Reginald Crimes, 39, of Preston, Georgia, was sentenced to serve 24 months of imprisonment to
    be followed by three years of supervised release after pleading guilty to conspiracy to participate
    in an animal fighting venture;
  • Lee Benney, 55, of Reynolds, Georgia, was sentenced to serve 21 months of imprisonment to be
    followed by three years of supervised release after pleading guilty to conspiracy to participate in
    an animal fighting venture; and,
  • Bryanna Holmes, 25, of Fort Valley, Georgia, was sentenced to serve 36 months of probation
    after pleading guilty to use of a communication facility

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