AUGUSTA, Ga. (WSAV) — A Georgia man is facing more than 2 years in prison for his connection in a dog-fighting ring.
Benjaman Shinhoster III, aka “Benji,” faces 30 months in prison after he pleaded guilty to Sponsoring and Exhibiting a Dog in an Animal Fighting Venture, Acting U.S. Attorney David H. Estes said. The 41-year-old of Lousiville, Ga. is also ordered to pay a $2,500 fine and serve three years of supervised release.
Shinhoster’s bond was revoked after he had attempted to sell multiple dogs.
“The gall of this defendant to continue as a proprietor of death while on bond is unnerving,” said Jason Williams, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Department of Agriculture-Office of Inspector General. “This prosecution should serve as notice that our agency in conjunction with our federal partners will be unrelenting in our pursuit for justice for these mild defenseless creatures bred and trained for this malicious pastime.”
There are five others involved in the ring that await sentencing. Investigators seized 63 dogs from the property of lead defendant, James Lampkin in 2018. Investigators also found a pit where fights were held and equipment used to train dogs for fighting, Estes said.
Deveon Hood, Andre Archer, Xavier Simmons and Joe Ford also have yet to be sentenced. However, Dwight McDuffie is serving two years of probation after he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor.
“It is appalling that anyone could find ‘entertainment’ from forcing animals into bloody and often fatal fights,” Estes said. “We’re grateful to our alert law enforcement partners for shutting down this dogfighting operation, and Benji Shinhoster and his co-defendants are being held accountable.”