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steelcobra's picture
Joined: 2006-10-04

[QUOTE][B]Police: Dogfighting Ring Was Extensive[/B]

ATLANTA -- Evidence including fight charts and the remains of several dogs show that a dogfighting operation was more extensive than initially thought, police said.

The new evidence is in addition to a "contraption" found in the woods behind a home where investigators believe dogs were fought.

"This is the first dogfighting operation of this magnitude," Atlanta Police spokesman Officer James Polite said.

Ossia M. Phillips, 31, was arrested Friday at his home after officers found 15 live pit bulls and the bodies of several others, police said.

On Saturday, police investigators, a forensic veterinarian and an assistant district attorney searched the home and found more dog remains, Polite said.

The forensic veterinarian is now testing the remains to determine the number of dogs and their cause of death.

Investigators also seized several handguns and rifles, along with documents detailing the extent of the operation.

"We found an organized chart system that referred to several different dogs, different fight times and different locations," Polite said. "We believe there will be more people because the documents found showed different fights."

Investigators are still trying to determine how long the ring was operating and how many members were involved, Polite said. More arrests are possible, he said.

Phillips is being held without bond at the Fulton County Jail on charges of dog fighting and animal cruelty.

Police say the arrest and subsequent imprisonment of former Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick on federal dogfighting charges has not changed their enforcement of animal cruelty, but it has caused the community to take a renewed interest.

"Any illegal activity we're going to investigate," Polite said. "Due to the Michael Vick attention, it is still a touchy subject in the community."[/QUOTE]


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