Investigation leads to dogfight raid in Mississippi

JACKSON, Miss. — A raid on a barn in northern Mississippi over the weekend busted up what is thought to be one the biggest annual dogfights in the United States with organizers and participants from around the country, authorities said Monday.

A monthslong investigation involving numerous federal, state and local agencies culminated in the raid Saturday night where at least 200 people gathered in a barn at the end of a dirt road in Benton County, authorities said.

Marshall County Sheriff Kenny Dickerson said shots were fired when officers arrived but nobody was hurt and authorities didn’t return fire. He said it’s not clear if the suspects shot at the officers or into the air.

Dickerson said the man believed to be the main organizer was arrested at the scene. Dickerson would say only that the man was from California.

Dickerson said authorities are looking for the man who owned the property, but it’s not clear if he was involved. It could have been one of his relatives who volunteered the use of the barn, the sheriff added.

Dickerson said authorities believe the fight was among five of the biggest held annually in the country.

“This is one of the all-star fights in the United States for dogfighting,” Dickerson said.

The winner of the event could have made big money by later breeding the victorious dog, Dickerson said.

Twenty dogs were rescued. Two had already fought and one of them died, said Chris Schindler, manager of animal fighting investigations for the Humane Society of the United States.

Nearly 50 people have been arrested and authorities are looking for others who fled, some running into the woods and leaving behind their vehicles, said David Murphy, an investigator with the Benton County Sheriff’s Office.

At least 70 vehicles were seized. Murphy said many of the cars had out-of-state tags from places as far away as California, Florida, New Hampshire and Ohio. Some of them were rental cars and authorities are trying to track down who rented them.

Dickerson said between $50,000 and $100,000 in cash has been recovered and the event could have generated several hundred thousand dollars.

The organizers probably chose the site because it was a secluded spot in a rural area where they thought the activities would go unnoticed, Dickerson said.

Authorities said they believe there was another dogfight Friday night run by the same organization in Tallahatchie County, Miss., but they couldn’t find it, Dickerson said.

Schindler said the “fight drew some of the biggest names in organized dogfighting.”

More in Local News

Young woman missing from Mukilteo found safe

She called her parents and told them she was at a museum in Seattle.

Mom and brother turn in suspect in Stanwood robberies

The man is suspected of robbing the same gas station twice, and apologizing to the clerk afterward.

Derrick “Wiz” Crawford, 22, is a suspect in the homicide of his roommate. (Edmonds Police Department)
Roommate suspected in Edmonds killing found hiding in closet

Police had been searching for him for 10 days before locating him at a house in Everett.

Video shows man suspected of attacking a woman in Edmonds

The man allegedly threw her on the ground, then ran away after the she began kicking and screaming.

Navy to put filter in Coupeville’s contaminated water system

Chemicals from firefighting foam was found in the town’s drinking water.

Officials to test sanity of suspect in Everett crime spree

He allegedly tried to rob and clobber a transit worker, then fled and struggled with police.

Katharine Graham, then CEO and chairwoman of the board of The Washington Post Co., looks over a copy of The Daily Herald with Larry Hanson, then The Herald’s publisher, during her visit to Everett on Sept. 20, 1984. The Washington Post Co. owned The Herald from 1978 until 2013. (Herald archives)
Everett’s brush with Katharine Graham, leader of ‘The Post’

Retired Herald publisher Larry Hanson recalls The Washington Post publisher’s visits.

Former Monroe cop loses appeal on sex crimes conviction

Once a highly respected officer, he was found guilty of secretly videotaping his kids’ babysitter.

Families seek to change wrongful death law

A bill would allow or parents or siblings who wish to pursue a suit for an unmarried, childless adult.

Most Read