-- Vick Facing a Maximum of 6 Years in Prison -- Wed Jul 18, 2007 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports Falcons QB Michael Vick's career in crisis after he was indicted Tuesday by a federal grand jury over his role in a dogfighting operation at property he owns in Surry County, Va. That the investigation, ongoing for over two months, yielded charges was not a surprise. That typically meticulous federal investigators moved so quickly Ã¢â‚¬â€ just 6 1/2 weeks Ã¢â‚¬â€ to make their case was stunning. Though Vick was indicted on one count of conspiracy to sponsor federally outlawed dogfighting, the 18-page indictment gruesomely detailed the operation of his alleged involvement in Bad Newz Kennels, located behind a house he owned in Smithfield, Va. The indictment charges that defeated dogs were typically killed after their losses, either by drowning, hanging, electrocution or shooting. Purses at Bad Newz-sponsored fights were alleged to have reached $26,000. An initial hearing date is expected to be set today at Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, which will hear the case, according to spokesman Jim Rybicki. That hearing will not likely occur this week, but probably within the next two weeks. Vick will not be arrested but will be issued a summons to appear at that initial hearing. If convicted Ã¢â‚¬â€ the official charge reads conspiracy to travel in interstate commerce in aid of unlawful activities ("Travel Act") and to sponsor a dog in an animal fighting venture Ã¢â‚¬â€ Vick faces a maximum of five years in prison. Any additional animal cruelty charges could bring an additional one-year maximum per conviction. The Falcons and the NFL issued statements of concern and exasperation over the quarterback's predicament. "We are disappointed that one of our players Ã¢â‚¬â€ and therefore the Falcons Ã¢â‚¬â€ [are] being presented to the public in a negative way, and we apologize to our fans and the community for that," the Falcons' unsigned statement read. Obviously, we are disturbed by today's news from Virginia." Indicted with Vick, 27, were Purnell Peace, 35, of Virginia Beach, Va.; Quanis Phillips, 28, of Atlanta; and Tony Taylor, 34, of Hampton, Va. "We are disappointed that Michael Vick has put himself in a position where a federal grand jury has returned an indictment against him," NFL director of communications Brian McCarthy said through a release. "We will continue to closely monitor developments in this case, and to cooperate with law enforcement authorities. The activities alleged are cruel, degrading and illegal. Michael Vick's guilt has not yet been proven, and we believe that all concerned should allow the legal process to determine the facts. The matter will be reviewed under the league's Personal Conduct Policy." Meanwhile, while Vick signed a 10-year, $130 million contract with the Falcons in December 2004, his contract is far from iron-clad. He has been paid about $44 million from the contract, including $37 million in guaranteed bonuses. The rest Ã¢â‚¬â€ nonguaranteed bonuses and base salaries over the next seven years Ã¢â‚¬â€ could be lost if the Falcons decide to release him. However, the Falcons would incur a substantial hit against their NFL salary cap if they decide to cut Vick because they would have to account, over the next two seasons, for the bulk of the bonuses he's already been paid.