a division of the

Division of Drug and Crime Control, Post Office Box 568, Jefferson City, MO 65102

News Release

For further information please contact: Sgt. Jason Clark
DDCC 1104090425
November 4, 2009

EMPHASIS: ASPCA Recognizes Criminal Investigators

Colonel James F. Keathley, superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, would like to commend Sgt. Terry Mills and Sgt. Jeffrey Heath, who are criminal investigators within the Division of Drug and Crime Control. Sgt. Mills and Sgt. Heath were guests at the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals’ (ASPCA) Humane Awards Luncheon in New York City, NY, on October 29, 2009, where they accepted an ASPCA Public Service Award for law enforcement. The Humane Society Missouri nominated the officers along with representatives from other agencies for their diligent efforts in dismantling the largest dogfighting ring in Missouri history.

“I want to commend Sgt. Mills and Sgt. Heath for their service to the state of Missouri, and for their dedication to undercover investigations,” said Colonel Keathley. “This investigation not only uncovered an organized crime ring, but it saved hundreds of dogs from the cruel and inhumane treatment associated with dogfighting.”

The 18-month investigation into the dogfighting ring expanded into Indiana, Kentucky, Texas, Mississippi, Arkansas, Iowa, and Nebraska. On July 8, 2009, federal, state, and local agents served 28 federal search warrants and two state search warrants. Twenty-eight subjects were arrested on federal and state charges. This federal investigation was approved by Assistant United States Attorney Matthew Drake, of the Eastern District of the Missouri U.S. Attorney’s office, in St. Louis, MO. Through the investigation of Sgt. Mills and Sgt. Heath, and the support of the Humane Society of Missouri, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Office of Inspector General, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation this investigation made a serious impact on dogfighting in the Midwest.