Additional charges and arrests are possible after the discovery of a dogfighting ring in Musella last week.
The three men already charged are being held without bond in the Crawford County jail after two dead pit bulls were found in a building in the 1100 block of Hopewell Road.
A fight ring was found in a barn-like building nearby, Sheriff Lewis Walker said Monday.
Investigators have not determined whether the dogs fought to the death or had been beaten with an object recovered at the scene, Walker said.
On Friday, Magistrate Judge Richard Spencer denied bond for Robert Wayne Durham, 28, of Musella, John Russell Cail, 22, also of Musella, and Jeffrey Bassett Armstrong, 25, of Lizella, according to a news release from the Crawford County Sheriff’s Office.
All three are charged with six counts of cruelty to animals and two counts of aggravated cruelty to animals related to the two dead dogs.
The animals had not been dead long when investigators arrived, Walker said.
People were scattering as deputies arrived at about 5:45 p.m. Thursday.
“It was tough to see what had happened,” Walker said.
The seven other dogs and two puppies taken from the property had some minor issues but are doing well at an undisclosed location, he said.
Authorities are now working to determine the scope of illegal dogfighting in the alleged operation.
“There’s nothing good involved in it, because you have two animals fighting and people (illegally) betting on it,” Walker said.
Assistant District Attorney Elizabeth Bobbitt will be conferring with investigators this week to determine whether more charges will be filed or additional warrants will be issued.
Because of the secrecy involved in dogfighting, investigations move slowly without informants calling in tips.
“We’re getting quite a few calls,” Walker said. “You have a lot of people who care for animals.”
Investigators are following new leads and are interested in talking to anyone with information.
The Humane Society of the United States offers up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of a dogfighter.
Anonymous tips can be reported on the Humane Society’s hotline at 877-TIP-4787.
Crawford County also is asking anyone who knows anything about the case to call investigators at 478-836-3116 or phone in tips to Macon Regional Crimestoppers at 877-68-CRIME.
To contact writer Liz Fabian, call 744-4303.