GADSDEN COUNTY, Fla. – A federal grand jury returned an indictment, unsealed Tuesday, charging eight defendants with 83 counts of federal dogfighting offenses stemming from an investigation into drug trafficking and a large-scale illegal dogfighting operation involving approximately 100 dogs.
The indictment was announced by Lawrence Keefe, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida.
Most of the dogs used by the defendants were recovered by the United States Marshals Service and placed with appropriate foster organizations.
“The United States Attorney’s Office takes allegations of dogfighting very seriously. Our society can be judged, in part, by how we treat our animals,” Keefe said. “This office will work with our partners at the federal, state, and local levels to pursue such cases vigorously.”
The defendants named in this indictment are:
● Jermaine Terrell Hadley, 31, Quincy, Florida;
● Devar San Jacus Donaldson, 27, Quincy, Florida;
● Sariem Shanquell McMillian, 23, Quincy, Florida;
● Randell Lavel Colston, 47, Quincy, Florida;
● Bob Streets, 35, Quincy, Florida;
● Zanntayfey Yohoun Bennett, 35, Quincy, Florida;
● Dennis Lamar Howard, 45, Chattahoochee, Florida; and
● Leonard Safford, 37, Gretna, Florida.
The charged defendants face penalties of up to five years imprisonment and fines up to $250,000, per count of conviction.
The indictment and arrests resulted from an extensive investigation by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF), a joint federal, state, and local cooperative, which targeted a drug trafficking organization that also allegedly organized and conducted a large-scale illegal dogfighting operation throughout the Northern District of Florida between 2014 through 2019.
During the operation, search warrants were executed on properties allegedly involved in training, housing, and conducting illegal dogfights.
On May 8, 2019, Hadley, Donaldson, McMillian, and Colston were among a dozen individuals indicted on federal drug trafficking offenses for allegedly distributing methamphetamine, cocaine, and MDMA throughout the north-central Florida Panhandle between 2018 and 2019.
The cases were investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Homeland Security Investigations, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the United States Marshals Service, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations, the Gadsden County Sheriff’s Office, the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, the Florida Highway Patrol, the Chattahoochee Police Department, the Tallahassee Police Department, the Leon County Sheriff’s Office, the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, and the Florida Air National Guard Counterdrug Program. The cases are being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Eric Mountin.