I'm not sure, but Newport News, VA isn't all that rural is it? I thought it was pretty much an urban area close to Virginia Beach.
Either way, the homeboy mentality (while good in concept of remembering where you came from and those that were with you before you were "somebody") has lead to the downfall of more than a few athletes. Pacman Jones falls into this same catagory.
Yes, there are alot more "stupid and arrogant" people out there. As has been referenced in many articles about Vick, this isn't the first major federal case since dogfighting became a federal offense. I think the first one that produced convictions or at least guilty pleas was here in Ohio. Last I read there were 12 charged and 6 or 7 had already pleaded guilty.
What I'm reading on Vick is that his lawyers have advised him to accept any plea agreement with a sentence less than a year. However, it's not expected that the government will offer anything with that short of a sentence. As the last man standing, and the big fish in this thing, he has nothing to offer the prosecution, aside from the money saved by not going to trial. As it stands the maximum sentence is 5 years, but the new indictment will probably include racketeering charges, so that is going to go up significantly. I agree with Ryou in guessing if they offer any deal it'll be for at least 2 years mandatory.