Man charged in connection to Wayne Co. dog fighting ring, more suspects sought

Man charged in connection to Wayne Co. dog fighting ring, more suspects sought
Ashley said the investigators found a dog fighting ring made of wood and carpet. (Photo source: Jody Ashley)
Ashley said the investigators found a dog fighting ring made of wood and carpet. (Photo source: Jody Ashley)

WAYNE COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - Investigators are searching for suspects after a dog Fighting ring was discovered in Wayne County over the weekend.

Wayne County Sheriff Jody Ashley said deputies received an anonymous call about the Fighting Sunday around 3:30 p.m. When they arrived at the property off Lacey Drive, Ashley said he found a make-shift Fighting pit with an injured dog inside. There were more than 15 dogs also chained around the property.

"If you see the video of the dog, you see the bloodshed. Yes, it's the worst," Ashley said.

On Monday, investigators returned to the property with Southern Cross Animal Rescue to find multiple dogs had been removed overnight from the chains, believed to be done by people involved in dog Fighting, according to police.

"It makes me mad, they are a bunch of thugs in my opinion," Ashley said.

Ashley estimated about 15 to 20 dogs were there on Sunday and only nine were there Monday afternoon. Multiple dead dogs were also found just down a path from the mobile homes.

"We've had complaints since I've been sheriff," said Ashley. "There are people betting on these dogs. They aren't worried about these dogs. It's all a game to them."

Randy Sumrall was arrested on the property and charged with tampering with physical evidence. Sumrall made his initial court appearance Tuesday, where a judge set his bond at $1,000.

Inside a mobile home, a notebook was found with possible information regarding training and drugs. Ashley said the person who lives in the trailer has not been arrested.

"As a state game warden, I've seen them where they've been thrown out," said Ashley. "But, to see the pit, the carpet and you see the instruments. You see where they are training the dogs. This is a big ring. This is a big operation."

Heather Williams, President of Southern Cross Animal Rescue, said the nine dogs were brought into the shelter for vaccines and assessments and then transported to a local vet clinic for temporary boarding. Williams said SCAR has a transport this week and hopes to move the dogs into the shelter when space is open.

Ashley said this type of activity will not be tolerated in Wayne County.

"We are going to get you and we are going to charge you. I'm going to charge you," said Ashley.