On Saturday night, Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office busted a dog-fighting ring that had taken over an abandoned house at 5910 Gene Ball Drive in Alexandria, La. Spectators and participants had come from as far as Mississippi and Texas.
Sheriff's Office Investigators arrested John Daniels Jr., 34, of Beaumont, Texas, and Frank Williams, 30, and Troy Day, 32, both of Alexandria, for their role in a possible multi-state dog-fighting operation.
The Sheriff’s Office received a call for suspicious activity at the Alexandria address at 10:59 p.m. When they arrived at the scene, three men attempted to flee by running into a field behind the residence. The officers immediately called for backup, and Alexandria and Pineville PD officers plus Louisiana State Police responded. (Alexandria is located on the Red River and at almost the exact center of the state.)
Deputies found 16 vehicles — including some with Mississippi and Texas plates — parked behind the house. A search led to suspect John Marshall Daniels, Jr., 34, of Beaumont, Texas, who was lying on the ground, trying to hide. Daniels was immediately taken into custody, reports TownTalk.com.
Officers also discovered three pit bulls in various vehicles and one more on a chain. Next to the house was an elaborate 10-foot wide dog-fighting ring made of plywood and covered with a black tarp. The ring also was equipped with flood lights and a generator, according to the Sheriff’s news release.
Officers seized all the vehicles and equipment at the scene. The dogs were impounded by Alexandria Police Department animal control officers.
As the investigation was in progress, Alexandria Police received a call around midnight for a possible carjacking at 93 Essie Street. The complainant told police that he had pulled over to check his vehicle when two men carjacked him. Officers identified him as Frank Williams, 30, of Alexandria, one of the men who had fled from them at the dog-fighting scene. His vehicle was one of those seized, according to the police report.
Both Daniels and Williams were arrested and booked into the Rapides Parish Detention Center. Both were charged with criminal trespass and dog fighting and released on a bond of $1,750 each.
Troy Day, 32, of Alexandria, who had also tried to flee, was booked into the Rapides Parish Detention Center and charged with criminal trespass, dog fighting, cruelty to animals, resisting arrest by flight and criminal conspiracy.
Rapides Sheriff’s Office issued a news release stating that the investigation is continuing, with more arrests anticipated and more charges pending.
“This type of criminal activity will not be tolerated in our parish,” said Rapides Sheriff William Earl Hilton. “Our detectives are going to follow every lead they can to get to the bottom of this.”
Anyone with information about the ring is asked to call either Detective James Owens or Detective Winston Bell Jr. at 318- 473-6727.
Up to a $5,000 reward is offered by The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) for information leading to the arrest and conviction of any person involved in illegal animal fighting. Call 877-TIP-HSUS (877-847-4787). Callers’ identities are protected.