Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Feds bite Michael Vick

"Falcons quarterback Michael Vick was indicted Tuesday on one felony count related to dogfighting.

"Vick is charged with conspiracy to travel in interstate commerce and aid of unlawful activities and to sponsor an animal fighting venture.

"The grand jury indictment charges that Vick and co-defendants Pernell Peach, Quanis Phillips and Tony Taylor spent six years 'knowingly sponsoring and exhibiting in an animal fighting venture.'

"The grand jury also charged the men with establishing a kennel to represent dogfighting competitions, purchase and train pitbulls in dogfighting competitions and 'destroying or otherwise disposing of dogs not selected to stay with the ongoing animal fighting venture.'

"The Falcons will issue a statement later Tuesday as owner Arthur Blank and president and general manager Rich McKay were traveling via airplane, according to a Falcons spokesperson."

ESPN just posted a longer version of this story. You can see it here.

There's a back story buried somewhere in this development. These are federal charges. The investigation started as a Commonwealth of Virginia show, when Vick's cousin, Davon Boddie, came to local police attention on suspicion of selling drugs. The dog kennel was discovered during a raid on the property owned by Vick. County authorities were the first to investigate animal cruelty charges, but it's the feds who bring the first indictments -- for unlawful interstate activity.

How that came about will make very interesting reading someday.

If I were Vick, and I knew I was guilty, I would cop a plea now. Doing so might hurt his street cred, but save his career and his income stream. A conviction would devastate everything, not to mention the sense of pending doom that will hang over him all season. Oh, I would walk away from dog fighting, too. Invest in race horses instead.

If he's innocent, he should fight the thing all the way and plea to nothing.

Needless to say, he won't be on my fantasy team this year.

Photo: Harry Howe, Getty Images


Anonymous said...

This pig doesn't deserve to get off by copping a plea...it would be
an example of preferential treatment
by the corrupt justice system for
so-called 'celebrities'.

Skin Patrol said...

What makes you think the Feds will even entertain a plea bargain? That's not very Feds-like.

Master4Caster said...

The feds could be interested depending on how strong their case is -- and if Vick spills what he knows about the dog fighting network. But, I'm not a lawyer. I just watch them on TV.

But, for Vick, it would be best to get this off his plate ASAP, even if he risks fines, probation and NLF suspension. It would save his career and what's left of his endorsement value. Else, he will twist in the wind leading up to the trial, won't be focused on playing football (hurting the Falcons) and a conviction will leave him so tainted that even Nike won't touch him.

Maybe the feds won't take a deal, but Vick should be find out -- now.

Skin Patrol said...

I agree that Vick's best out is a plea bargain. But with 4 "Cooperative Witnesses" named in the indictment, I wonder if that ship hasn't already sailed.