By Errol Castens/NEMS Daily Journal
ASHLAND – Officers have recovered more than $100,000 in cash during the investigation of a March 30 dogfight in northern Benton County.
“They found $10,000 just this morning,” said Marshall County Sheriff Kenny Dickerson on Tuesday. His department partnered with counterparts in Benton and DeSoto counties, along with state and federal officers, in the raid.
Ten days after the raid, officers from Benton County Sheriff Department, Mississippi Bureau of Investigation and other agencies are searching nearly 80 vehicles that were left behind when people fled on foot from the dogfight venue.
“We found a hidden compartment in one with $10,000 in it,” echoed Benton County Sheriff A.A. “Arnie” McMullen. “We’ll eventually split that up among several agencies. That’ll help some with our costs.”
McMullen said dozens of weapons have been recovered so far, and dog carriers could be seen on the ground and in several open SUVs where the seized vehicles are impounded.
Some vehicles will likely be forfeited if their owners prove to have been involved in the dogfight. Of those that are not confiscated, McMullen said officers will interview owners who come to pick up impounded vehicles for any leads about who was using them.
McMullen said he has as much trouble understanding the appeal of blood sport as the average citizen.
“I’m sure they bet on them, but I don’t understand why anybody would want to stand and watch one dog kill another one,” he said.
He added that the dogfighting network is probably more prevalent than it seems.
“As many as we’ve got, I’m sure this goes on quite often that we don’t know about,” McMullen said. “Everywhere you go there are bulldogs.”
Four more people have turned themselves in during the past few days after learning of dogfighting charges against them.
They include Willie Dent, 51, of Jackson; Nicholas, Nickerson, 28, of Edwards; and Sallih Anderson, 30 and Shemika Campbell, 22, both of Indianapolis, Ind. As with the 51 suspects arrested in the initial raid, each was released on $20,000 bond.