RAISINVILLE TWP. (AP) – Federal and local law enforcement officials who raided what they say was a sizable dog-fighting ring in southeastern Michigan found a bloody, disturbing scene.

The weekend crackdown in Monroe County’s Raisinville Township netted two dozen arrests. Officials also confiscated nine dogs, two of which died, apparently of injuries sustained in a vicious battle.

The suspects, who are from Michigan, Georgia, Missouri, Indiana and Ohio, were expected to be arraigned Monday on dog fighting charges, which carry a maximum penalty of four years in prison.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is investigating, and local police are assisting.

Local SWAT team members who conducted the raid said they found people surrounding the fighting ring.

“It was brutal,” sheriff’s Detective Sgt. Heath Velliquette told The Monroe Evening News. “There was blood everywhere.”

Most of the suspects were taken into custody immediately, and eight others were rounded up after they fled the garage. They were in barns, in nearby woods and walking along roads.

Police confiscated a handgun, $40,000 in cash and suspected cocaine and marijuana. Dog-training equipment, such as a treadmill, also was seized.

The seven surviving dogs taken from the home were in the care of county Animal Control, director Linda Benson told the Detroit Free Press. 

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.

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