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Man accused of selling dog to Vick pleads guilty

10/24/2007 - NFL Michael Vick Atlanta Falcons + more

RICHMOND, Va. -- A man who sold a champion pit bull to
suspended NFL quarterback Michael Vick's dogfighting operation
pleaded guilty Wednesday to a federal dogfighting charge.

Oscar Allen entered the plea to 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.

The 67-year-old Allen, who lives in the Williamsburg area, is to
be sentenced Jan. 25, 2008. He faces a maximum punishment of five
years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years' supervised
release. He was released with conditions, including a prohibition
on buying or selling any dogs.

U.S. Attorney Michael Gill recommended that Allen spend no time
in prison if he complies with conditions of the plea agreement
because Allen cooperated with the investigation, had no prior
criminal record and had limited involvement with Bad Newz Kennels.

But U.S. District Judge Henry Hudson said he isn't bound by that
recommendation, and must take into account federal sentencing
guidelines in the case.

As part of his plea, Allen admitted in a statement that he sold
a female pit bull named Jane in 2001 to Bad Newz Kennels in rural
Surry County, and traveled with Vick's dogfighting associates to
Jane's fights.

In 2003, Bad Newz Kennels entered Jane in a "champion dog
fight" -- meaning she was fighting for her third consecutive win.
Jane won the "champion" purse in a fight over another female pit
bull. The winning purse is not known, according to documents filed
by prosecutors.

Allen also is accused of advising Vick and his co-defendants on
managing and caring for pit bulls used in the rural 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.