Jimmy Crate Willis, 78, of Clintwood, Virginia, pleaded guilty Monday in U.S. District Court in Abingdon to one count of conspiracy to knowingly sponsor and exhibit an animal in an animal fighting venture, according to court documents.
Willis was one of several individuals who prosecutors said transported and participated in cockfighting over a 24-year period beginning in 1990 at the Big Blue Sportsman's Club in Floyd County, Kentucky.
The investigation revealed millions of dollars was wagered on the fights from spectators who came from several states. The case has already sent five defendants to prison and two more are scheduled to appear in court in April.
Willis will be sentenced on February 22.