Rick P. Hihath sentenced to 16 months in prison for role in dog-fighting conspiracy

A federal judge sentenced Rick P. Hihath to 16 months in federal prison without parole for his role in dog-fighting conspiracy.

The 56-year-old from St. Joseph was part of the federal raid that seized hundreds of dogs on July 8, 2009. Hihath, a former teacher at a state school for children with handicaps, pleaded guilty on October 14, 2009, to conspiring to transport dogs across state lines for dog-fighting as well as sponsoring or exhibiting the fights. Prosecutors say Hihath was the Don King of these dog fights, promoting and sponsoring matches involving pit bulls and transporting the dogs from Iowa and Nebraska to Missouri.

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