Owners of Cockfighting Plead Guilty

Greeneville, Greene County (AP) -- Two men who formerly owned the Del Rio Cockfighting Pit have pleaded guilty to running an animal-fighting venture and illegal gambling.

Donald Poteat and Michael Maynard will be sentenced in May on their pleas in federal district court in Greeneville Monday.

A massive state and federal raid on the cockfighting operation in June 2005 brought to light the federal Rose Thorn investigation into wide-ranging public corruption in Cocke County, on the North Carolina border.

More than 140 people faced misdemeanor charges after the raid.

D.C. Ramsey resigned early last year from the sheriff's post he held for several years after it was revealed he had been targeted after allegations of accepting bribes to protect gambling. Ramsey has not been charged.

Seven local law officers have been convicted so far on various felonies.

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