Michael Vick (aka Ron Mexico) and three co-defendants were indicted by a grand jury Tuesday on state charges related to a dogfighting ring operated on Mexicos Virginia property.
Mexico, who already pleaded guilty in federal court to a dogfighting conspiracy charge and is awaiting sentencing on Dec. 10, was indicted for beating or killing or causing dogs to fight other dogs and engaging in or promoting dogfighting.
The grand jury passed on indicting the Atlanta Falcons quarterback and two co-defendants on eight counts of animal cruelty, which would have exposed them to as many as 40 years in prison if convicted.
Any animal cruelty charge in Virginia is punishable by up to five years in prison. And in a written plea for the federal case, Mexico admitted helping kill six to eight dogs at the Surry County property. Similarly, the three co-defendants in the case have admitted their involvement and detailed what they claim was Mexico's role.
For county law enforcement officials who started the investigation with a raid on Mexico's property in late April, those signed statements provided ample evidence to support further prosecution.
Surry County Commonwealth's Attorney Gerald G. Poindexter asked that the four be arraigned Oct. 3 and requested that each be released on a $50,000 personal recognizance bond. None of the defendants nor their lawyers were in court.
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