Georgiana men arrested for dogfighting

Published 3:37 pm Friday, April 5, 2013

Two Georgiana men were among 52 people arrested on Saturday after Mississippi authorities broke up a large dogfighting ring.

Carlton Edwards, 42, and Williams Edwards, 39, were arrested as part of an operation that included more than 100 officers from the Marshall County Sheriff’s Office, the Benton County Sheriff’s Office, the DeSoto County Sheriff’s Office and the Mississippi Bureau of Investigations.

Benton County Sheriff’s Office Investigator David Murphy told the Associated Press that at least 200 people were at the dogfight Saturday night when state and federal officers raided a barn there.

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“This was one of the premiere dogfights in the country, if you will,” Marshall County Sheriff Kenny Dickerson told the Clarion Ledger. “They have five to six (fights) a year according to our intelligence.

Reports differ on the number of dogs that were rescued, but it was likely somewhere between 15 and 26 pit bulls. At least two of the dogs will have to be euthanized due to the injuries they suffered during the fights.

The others are being housed at local humane society shelters.

According to reports by the Associated Press, officials said the arrests were the culmination of a part of a nationwide investigation that spanned several months.

There were shots fired during the raid, according to authorities, but the police did not return fire. It took a school bus to get all the suspects to jail where they now all face felony dogfighting charges, according to reports.

According to Mississippi law, anyone fighting a dog or holding a dogfight can be fined up to $5,000 and may spend up to three years in the state penitentiary. Those convicted of watching a dogfight can be fined up to $5,000 and may spend up to a year in prison.