Eleven Suspects Are Charged In Connection With A Dog Fighting Ring In East Texas

This morning, eleven people were in court, accused of participating in or at least attending a dog fight. They face a third degree felony charge of "engaging in organized activity involving cruelty to animals". One of the men,Tyrone Luster apparently, owns the land where the fight was taking place. He also faces a firearm charge and a tampering with evidence charge.

It was a violent dog fight, right here in East Texas and authorities discovered it "in progress."

"It was bad. I mean the two dogs we found out there that had been fighting. One of them was mangled already bad. His ear was gone, his face was all chewed up," said Marion County Sheriff Bill McCay. "It was evil it self! The two dogs that had been fighting, very bloody, very sad.  Scars on top of scars-- their throats were just unbelievable.

Investigators say it was on Tyrone Luster's property that dog fighters came from as far away as Oklahoma for an illegal fight. Investigators say one suspect told him they found out about it over the Internet.

"We found out that this dog fight was posted on a web site and given information, and location where it was to take place and the time. The furthest one we arrested, one was from Idabel Oklahoma, a couple of them were from Texarkana Arkansas, Texarkana Texas, and Douglasville. Obviously, they came from several directions to Marion county to watch this dogs fight," said Sheriff McCay.

Not only did the suspects allegedly watch the fight but authorities say some were carrying illegal weapons and a lot of money.

"There was  $10,000.00 confiscated from them. This is an illegal gambling operation. That's the reason they fight the dogs. They bet on the dogs," said McCay.

The fight wasn't the only shocking thing found at this site. Authorities also found skeletons of the dogs remains. Now, authorities and the Humane Society are trying to figure out if some of the dogs they seized were stolen.

"I have talked with several people with their concern that raise pit bulls and they have been stolen," said Caroline Wedding, President of the Humane Society.

For now, all the dogs are being taken care of by SPCA. Two of the dogs remain in serious condition. For authorities they hope these dogs will have to never be hurt like this again.

Authorities say they don't know the actual web site the suspects found promoting the dog fight. Right now, investigators are trying to get a warrant to search the home owner's computer.

LaKecia Shockley, Reporting lshockley@kltv.com