ENVIRONMENT
11/10/2014 04:45 pm ET Updated Nov 12, 2014

'Godfather' Of Huge Dogfighting Operation Gets 8 Years In Prison

Donnie Anderson, whom a judge called the "godfather" of a huge dogfighting operation in Alabama and Mississippi, was sentenced to eight years in prison Friday, the Associated Press reported.

Anderson, 50, of Auburn, Alabama, received the longest term of six people who had pleaded guilty in a 2013 dogfighting case, in part, because of his extraordinarily cruel behavior, Judge Keith Watkins said, per AP. His sentence was four times longer than the one NFL quarterback Michael Vick received in 2007.

According to WTVM, testimony indicated that Anderson hosted 80 fights in which nearly 500 pit bulls fought for hundreds of spectators who bet about $100,000 per fight. It was also Anderson's job to kill the losers, and he executed one dog by letting it hang by its collar, Tim Rickey, an investigator with the ASPCA, told the station.

Anderson reports to prison in January, more than a year after he and several others were arrested in August 2013 for what Rickey at the time called one of the largest dogfighting operations ever, previous reports noted.

Law enforcement agencies conducted simultaneous raids to make arrests and seize dogs in Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi. Hundreds of dogs were taken away and more than half have died because of health problems.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated the amount of time between Anderson's arrest and the date he's scheduled to report to prison.

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