Three guilty pleas expected in Missouri dogfighting case

ST. LOUIS | At least three eastern Missouri men who were part of a multi-state federal crackdown on illegal dogfighting are expected to plead guilty next week in federal court.

Documents filed in the case and interviews with the men's attorneys confirm that Robert Hackman of Foley, Teddy Kiriakidis of Leasburg and Ronald Creach of Leslie will plead guilty Monday in U.S. District Court in St. Louis.

Co-defendant Michael Morgan of Hannibal is set for trial Monday in the same court. His attorney did not respond to inquiries about any plans to plead.

A fifth man, Jack Ruppel of Eldon in central Missouri, was indicted this summer in St. Louis along with the other four on dogfighting conspiracy charges. He pleaded guilty Sept. 4 in federal court in Jefferson City.