Two more suspects have been arrested in the ongoing investigation into a dog fighting ring in Rankin County. Forty-eight year old Benjamin Nelson Williams of Jackson and 29-year-old Reddick Raynard Kelly of Jackson are charged with felony dog fighting.
Saturday night the Rankin County Sheriff's Department, including about 15 deputies, made multiple arrests in a large dog fighting ring.
Around 7:00 p.m. Saturday a Rankin County Sheriff Deputy responded to a home in the 100 block of Bee Summers Road in Lena, MS for an apparent dog fight. When he arrived he found at least 18 cars in the drive way and evidence of what appeared to be a dog fighting ring.
Other sheriff deputies were called to the scene to assist.
The spectators started to run from the ring into nearby bushes.
Rankin County Sheriff Deputies seized three pit bulls and arrested the home owner, 29-year-old Nathaniel Cooper of Brandon, and two others who will be facing felony dog fighting charges.
Nathaniel Cooper's charges include felony dog fighting, charges of owning and training dogs with intent to fight them, felon in possession of a firearm and two counts of violation of the Rankin County Animal Control Ordinance.
The two others arrested were 27-year-old, Kyre A. Cooper of Brandon and 28-year-old Sedrick D. Lyles of Lena.
All three suspects were transported to the Rankin County Jail and will appear before Rankin County Court Judge Kent McDaniel on felony dog fighting.
Sheriff Bryan Bailey and his department called nearby tow companies to get the spectators' cars towed to Rankin County Sheriff Department to determine who they belong to.
Inside some of the cars deputies found drug paraphernalia.
"Also we believe that we have evidence that this is like a training facility, where this individual trained these dogs to fight," said Sheriff Bailey.
Bailey said, "A search of the property revealed a dog fighting arena approximately 100 yards behind the residence. The arena appeared to be new and was almost ready for last nights fight."
"It had a generator and lighting, several areas where dogs had been obviously tied up, and scales hanging from a tree to weigh the dogs before they fight, supplies ready to bathe the dogs for the fight and carpet to line the arena floor," Bailey added.
Deputies also located equipment used to train and condition fighting dogs.
Rankin County Animal Control was called in to tranquilize one of the pit bulls that couldn't be captured initially.
"It's a very vicious animal and it's just sad that a human being will do an animal like that," said Sheriff Bailey.
All individuals involved will be in Rankin County court Tuesday at 9 a.m. for an arraignment.
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