4 indicted for operating illegal cockfighting enterprise

Four Middle Tennessee men have been indicted for operating an illegal cockfighting enterprise in Hohenwald.

Authorities said on Thursday, Howard Gay, 55, Thomas Hardiman, 64, Walter Wooten, 57, and Phillip Heidekker, 66, were indicted by a federal grand jury last week.

Each of the men are charged with operating an illegal gambling business, conspiring to operate an illegal gambling business and aiding and abetting an animal fighting venture.

According to the indictment, the cockfighting enterprise called the Shiloh Club, had been in operation for a lengthy amount of time and hosted cockfighting derbies every other Saturday between November 2008 and May 2009.

According to authorities the derbies involved fights between roosters from Tennessee and other states.

If convicted, each of the defendants face up to five years in prison, as well as a $250,000 fine and forfeiture of property derived from or used in violation the offenses charged.

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