Who, age What Where When Last known address
Betty Simms, 42 dogfighting - 6 dogs seized

Sumter, SC

Sumter County

August 9, 2009  
Willie Davis, 18 dogfighting - 6 dogs seized

Sumter, SC

Sumter County

August 9, 2009  
Chedric Jones, 17 dogfighting - 6 dogs seized

Sumter, SC

Sumter County

August 9, 2009  
Weldon Jackson, 20 dogfighting - 6 dogs seized

Sumter, SC

Sumter County

August 9, 2009  
Christopher Miller, 22 dogfighting - 6 dogs seized

Sumter, SC

Sumter County

August 9, 2009  
Tony Mickens, 23 dogfighting - 6 dogs seized

Sumter, SC

Sumter County

August 9, 2009  
Milton Gaymon, 21 dogfighting - 6 dogs seized

Sumter, SC

Sumter County

August 9, 2009 Pinewood, SC
Marion Whitney Simms, III, 22 dogfighting - 6 dogs seized

Sumter, SC

Sumter County

August 9, 2009  
Shaun Antwan Anderson, 24 dogfighting - 6 dogs seized

Sumter, SC

Sumter County

August 9, 2009  
Type of Crime Other Crimes #/Type of animal(s) involved Case Status Next Court Date
Felony drug possession, ill treatment of animals 6 pitbulls Alleged  

Seven people have been arrested after Sumter Deputies broke up an illegal dog fighting ring.  Officials got a tip that there were at least six dogs being fought at 2450 Lisbon Drive in Sumter County, the home of 42-year-old Betty Simms.

When deputies got there and saw the dogs fighting themselves, that's when they say they arrested the following individuals: Simms, 18-year-old Willie Davis, 17-year-old Chedric Jones, 20-year-old Weldon Jackson, 22-year-old Christopher Miller, and 23-year-old Tony Mickens all of Sumter and 21-year-old Milton Gaymon of Pinewood.

     

(Photo's courtesy of WLTX, Weldon Jackson, Tony Mickens, Willie Davis, Betty Simms, Christopher Miller, Milton Gaymon and Chedric Jones)

All seven have been charged with dog fighting and animal cruelty. Major Larry Florence with the Sumter County Sheriff's Department says there were at least 20 other people there who ran away when deputies arrived and he expects more arrests to come this week.

Officials say six dogs were taken from the home to the Sumter County Animal Shelter. Florence says the dogs were in pretty bad shape and he's not sure that they can be rehabilitated.  He says based on the fact that the floor of the fighting pen had been removed because it was rotting, Florence believes the ring had been going on for quite some time.

  (Photo's courtesy of WLTX)  After further investigation, deputies found chains, weapons, animal medicine, and 5 marijuana plants valued at $10,000.00 in the residence and wooded area behind it.

All suspects were taken to the Sumter/Lee Regional Detention Center.

Update 8/11/09: While the pitbulls have been rescued from their life of dog fighting, investigators say it appears from their overall condition that they may not get a second lease on life.  "They're very skinny, you could see their ribs. They didn't live in good conditions,"says Sumter County Sheriff's Department Captain Allen Dailey.

     

(Photo's courtesy of WLTX)

Five pitbulls being used in what authorities say was an illegal dog fighting rind are in the custody of animal control. Investigators say a sixth dog died.

Authorities say none of the suspects are talking. Deputies say a tip led them to the home.

"Some fighting was going on when they (deputies) arrived. The dogs were chained up to trees and stakes in the woods and they had a chain link fence they were using for a fighting ring,"says Dailey.

More arrests are expected.  "We have about four more suspects we're making arrangements to obtain warrants and identify the other people that were involved in this operation,"says Dailey.

Investigators say the five remaining pitbulls will likely have to be euthanized. Deputies also say there's evidence the dog fighting ring had been going on for some time.

A bond hearing for the suspects is scheduled. If you have any information that could assist investigators, call Crimestoppers at 888-CRIME-SC.

Update 8/13/09:  Two men were charged in connection with a raid at a Lisbon Drive home where dogfighting was alleged to have occurred.

Marion Whitney Simms III, 22, of 2450 Lisbon Drive, was charged with felony dogfighting and six counts of ill treatment to animals; Shaun Antwan Anderson, 24, of American Mobile Home Park, Lot 51, was charged with one count of dogfighting, according to the Sumter County Sheriff's Office.

The sheriff's office said Simms knowingly allowed dogfighting at a place under his control. Anderson was present with the knowledge dogfighting was taking place. It was unclear when bond hearings would be held for the men.

Reference:

WLTX

The Item