More arrests possible in Harrison County dog fighting investigation
HARRISON COUNTY, Texas (KLTV) - Authorities are providing more information about a dog fighting ring that was broken up in Harrison County early Sunday morning, resulting in one arrest.
Harrison County Sheriff Brandon Fletcher and Chief Deputy Hall Reavis say investigators thought light spotted about a half mile behind a mobile home on Strickland Spring Road was coming from hunters or maybe a pasture party involving juveniles. When authorities got close, landowner Jesus Stephens approached them.
“While he was talking to us another subject said that they were fighting dogs down on the bottom. That led to Mr. Stephens being detained and taken down to where these lights were emitting in the woods. And what we found was in fact several rings that had been set up,” Sheriff Fletcher said.
“It’s mobile, they have trailers that they can trailer stuff in. They set up, they do their fighting of the dogs and then they just pack up, and gone,” Reavis said.
And they say while talking to Stephens, the hundred or so attendees went out a back road, taking their dogs with them. But they didn’t take everything.
“Definitely had evidence that they had been dog fighting. There was one dog there that was injured to the point that it later had to be put down,” Fletcher said.
Sheriff Fletcher said they also found milk, baking soda and soap which is used at dog fights.
“What they do is wash the dog’s hair before the fight, and that’s to ensure that nobody’d put any chemical on the dog that will give him an advantage in the fight,” Fletcher said.
The Sheriff said the scene was gruesome.
“And it’s all based on money,” Fletcher said.
Sheriff Fletcher said if betters can’t pay their loses, violence can erupt. And he said the dog fighting may have been going on a while.
“I was even told that the trailer house up front, that nobody lives in now, had evidence of dogfighting that had occurred in it in the past due to blood and mud and things like that that were in it,” Fletcher said.
The sheriff added that in his experience often dog fighting comes with illegal drugs.
Jesus Stephens is charged with dog fighting and animal cruelty. The sheriff says they expect to make more arrests in the case, and that dog fighting will not be tolerated in his county.
Deputies arrested Jesus Stephens, 31, of Waskom in connection with the alleged incident, charging him with dog fighting and animal cruelty.
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