Florida man gets 30 years for drug, dogfighting conviction

Prison bars background (WJXT)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – A 32-year-old Florida man faces 30 years in federal prison for his role in a massive drug trafficking and dogfighting operation that led to the arrest of 20 others.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Florida said the group led by Jermaine Hadley of Quincy, Florida, distributed more than 100 pounds (45 kilograms) of methamphetamine and over 30 pounds (13 kilograms) of cocaine, as well as promoting a dogfighting ring across northern Florida that involved more than 100 animals.

“The abuse of animals for profit is both inhumane and illegal and will be vigorously prosecuted by this office,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Jason R. Coody in a statement.

The dogs were often made to fight to the death as people watched and wagered on the outcome. Authorities said the clandestine dogfighting ring operated across Florida's Panhandle between 2018 and 2019.

Most of the others convicted in the case are scheduled to be sentenced in the coming weeks. Hadley was sentenced Friday.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said the narcotics distribution network involved members of the Gadsden County, Florida, “424” criminal street gang. Authorities say the drugs funneled in from Texas, Louisiana and Georgia.