South Mississippi law enforcement acted on a tip Wednesday morning and uncovered what they believe to be dog and possible chicken fighting rings as well as other illegal activity, George County Sheriff Keith Havard said.
Agents responded to a home in the 2200 block of Bexley Road South in George County at 10:20 a.m. Wednesday and discovered 24 injured dogs and several roosters believed to be used for fighting, Havard said in a press release.
Agents also seized a quarter-pound of marijuana, MDMA (ecstasy), a stolen ATV and a stolen motorcycle, he said.
The dogs, pit bulls, were mostly tied to trees in the woods behind the trailer, Havard told the Sun Herald. He said some of the dogs seemed to be in OK condition, but he said most were in "pretty poor" health.
Kofe Benard Riley, 38, of George County, was arrested on a charge of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and faces additional charges including possession of a controlled substance and receiving stolen property. Other charges are possible as the investigation continues, Havard said.
Riley is being held at the George County jail on a combined bond amount of $50,000 plus a $1,000 signature bond for the misdemeanor charge.
Personnel with the Southeast Mississippi Narcotics Task Force Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics, Greene County Sheriff's Office, George County Sheriff's Office, Wiggins Police Department and Lucedale Police Department partnered in the operation. Havard also thanked Dixie Adoptables for their assistance with the animals.
This is a joint investigation between the George County Sheriff’s Office and the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics. Anyone with information about this case or other drug activity are encouraged to call the George County Sheriff's Office at 601-947-4811, the Lucedale Police Department at 601-947-3261, or Mississippi Coast Crime Stoppers at 1-877-787-5898.