TRENTON, N.J. — Five men have pleaded guilty in a dog fighting ring that stretched between New Jersey and New Mexico.

Prosecutors said that the men participated in dog fights and trafficked in dogs for fights in New Jersey, Indiana, Illinois and New Mexico.

Frank Nichols, of Millville, New Jersey, and Pedro Cuellar, of Willow Springs, Illinois, pleaded guilty in federal court in Trenton on Friday.

Anthony Gaines and Lydell Harris, both of Vineland, pleaded guilty Thursday, and Mario Atkinson, of Asbury Park, pleaded guilty in June.

Prosecutors say the case is part of Operation Grand Champion, which has rescued 98 dogs so far. The phrase Grand Champion is used by dog fighters for animals with more than five victories.

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