Drug bust leads to suspected dogfighting operation in parish

Published 1:17 am Thursday, November 30, 2017


FERRIDAY — One man was arrested and six dogs were confiscated Wednesday in a suspected dogfighting ring in Ferriday.

Jamel Green, 37, 127 Warren St., Ferriday was arrested at approximately 9 p.m. Wednesday on Fudickar Street on a drug bust, but when officers arrived on scene they found several dogs with heavy chains, suspected training grounds and other hallmarks of the dogfighting trade.

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In the trailer where Concordia Parish Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Detective John Cowan suspects four to five children live with Green based on the number of backpacks and kid-sized clothing found strewn across the house, officers found 24.7 grams of methamphetamines, Xanax pills, trace amounts of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

Also in the trailer, which was spattered with children’s photos and prayers hung around the beds, were two guns: a .22-caliber rifle and a .380-caliber pistol.

In the master bedroom, which was littered with clothing, shoes and trash, officers found a camera system, with two cameras trained on the front lawn and one camera facing the backyard, where the dogs were tied up.

Cowan said these cameras were likely a defense mechanism set up to show those inside the house an intruder or a police officer approaching. The camera footage was displayed on a 60-inch flat-screen television overlooking the mattress in the master bedroom, Cowan said.Compared to the master bedroom, the two children’s rooms on the other side of the trailer were sparse, with little in the way of furniture or wall hangings and the dank smell of mold permeating the air.

When officers arrived on scene, it was not in the master suite with its many cameras and weapons that Green was found, but in the children’s rooms, preventing him from seeing officers arrive.

Six dogs found in the backyard were tied with heavy, rusted chains and far enough apart that no animal could touch another. The dogs were friendly, showing no aggression toward one another or to the officers on scene.

When Cowan approached with a bucket of water, one small black and tan dog drank so much water that it immediately threw up.

“When they haven’t had water or food in a long time, they’ll do that,” Cowan said. “They’re thirsty.”

Cowan said officers of the Ferriday Police Department, Vidalia Police Department, Concordia Parish Sheriff’s Office and Concordia Parish Narcotics Division had been tracking this case since the beginning of November, and only this week were able to get a search warrant for the residence for suspected drug sales.

“How could you do something like this?” narcotics officer Walter Mackel said while leaning down to pet a particularly energetic, loving dog he called “Oreo.”

Just feet away in a wooden and wire box made for parent animals to keep puppies, a yellow dog crouched on broken legs, its bones sticking out in odd angles. The wounds were long-healed, but the extent of the injury left the dog walking in a way that its ankles touched the ground before the pads of the feet, crippling it forever.

To the right of the animals in a little grove of trees, two chains were tied to tall oak trees.

The area did not have the distinctive dirt circle that an animal creates when it is chained for a long time.

The chains left just enough room for the animals to get close, but not touch. Cowan said this area was likely used as a training and fighting ground..

Inside one of the two sheds behind the residence, officers found a treadmill with a box used to keep the dogs trapped on the machine, forcing them to run and build muscle. Also in the shed were what officers believe to be stolen equipment.

The dogs were taken Wednesday night to a safe, undisclosed location where Concordia PAWS representatives will watch over them for the duration of the case.

“They jumped right when we called,” Cowan said. “We are so thankful for them.”

Green was being held in the Concordia Parish Jail with no bond set as of 11:30 p.m. Wednesday night.