: RICHMOND, Va. - Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick surrendered to U.S. marshals Monday, three weeks before his sentencing on a dogfighting charge. He was being held in a regional jail.

Vick is scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 10 on the dogfighting conspiracy charge, but turned himself in because he was anticipating a prison term, according to a court document. Vick could be sentenced to up to five years in prison.

"From the beginning, Mr. Vick has accepted responsibility for his actions, and his self-surrender further demonstrates that acceptance," Billy Martin, one of Vick's lawyers, said in a statement. "Michael wants to again apologize to everyone who has been hurt in this matter and he thanks all of the people who have offered him and his family prayers and support during this time."

Vick is being held at Northern Neck Regional Jail in Warsaw until his sentencing, U.S. marshals told The Associated Press. The mixed-gender facility houses about 450 inmates.

The order filed in U.S. District Court said "Vick has indicated his desire to voluntarily enter custody prior to his sentencing hearing. It appearing appropriate to do so, the U.S. Marshal is ordered to take custody of the Defendant immediately upon his surrender."

The order added that Vick was taken into custody "based solely on his desire to begin his period of incarceration prior to his sentencing hearing and not because of violation of any condition of his bond."

In an e-mail sent to the AP, the U.S. attorney's office confirmed Vick's surrender but declined further comment.

Vick's decision to begin serving time before sentencing was approved by the judge and Vick's lawyers.

This summer, Vick and three co-defendants pleaded guilty to charges related to a dogfighting operation financed by Vick. Bad Newz Kennels was based at a property owned by Vick in rural Surry County.

The NFL suspended Vick indefinitely and without pay.

Vick and his co-defendants still face state felony dogfighting charges.

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