- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 15, 2014

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - One of the 14 people charged in connection with a multi-state dog fighting investigation has filed notice that he plans to plead guilty.

Irkis Forrest of Theodore filed court papers saying he intends to plead guilty to one count in the dog fighting case. U.S. Magistrate Judge Charles Coody has scheduled a hearing May 2 in Montgomery for Forrest to enter the plea.

A federal indictment accused Forrest of being part of a dog fighting conspiracy involving people from Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi and Texas that staged or participated in matches in Alabama.

Court records also show another defendant, Carlton Tippens of Riverdale, Ga., is seeking to enter into a pre-trial diversion program. If accepted, Tippens could perform community service, pay restitution, and submit to regular supervision. His prosecution would be dropped.

The indictment accuses Tippens of being in a vehicle that left a dog fight in Notasulga, Ala., on April 7, 2012, with the body of a pit bull killed at the fight. Law enforcement followed the vehicle and stopped it.

Most of the remaining defendants are scheduled for trial May 8 in Alabama.

Investigators seized 367 dogs in raids last August in Alabama and Georgia. They seized 37 more dogs later in Dothan. Several of the dogs were pregnant and had puppies. The Humane Society of the United States and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals ended up caring for 466 dogs last fall. Since then, some have been adopted.

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