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Detroit Free Press (KRT)
via NewsEdge Corporation

Jul. 15--More than 50 people were arrested and $27,000 in cash was seized early Monday after Wayne County Sheriff's Deputies raided a dogfight on Detroit's east side.
Wayne County Sheriff Wayne Evans said two dozen deputies, including the Sheriff's Special Response Team, as well as federal Drug Enforcement Administration agents and Michigan Humane Society officers were acting on a tip when they raided the dogfight being held at 12:30 a.m. Monday inside a two-car garage in the 200 block of Nevada between Woodward and John R.
Two pit bull terriers had just started to fight when officers stormed the garage and broke up the match. Evans said officers were able to catch most of the patrons and those they suspect were the fight promoters. A total of 53 people were arrested, including three juveniles under 17 who were turned over to their parents.
One injured dog was being treated by the Humane Society. Another injured animal was carried off by its owner, who was stopped and arrested by deputies. The dog was shot after it bit one of the deputies, then ran away. As of Monday evening, the wounded dog was still loose.
Spectators and the fight's ring leaders face felony animal fighting charges that carry up to four years in prison if they are convicted. Four people identified as organizers could face additional fines and community service if convicted.
The raid is significant because it is the first conducted by the Wayne County Sheriff's Office in Evans' five years there. It also is significant because organizers, dog owners and spectators usually operate in such secrecy that it is difficult for law enforcement to be in position to break up a fight in action.
"It's unfathomable that so many would pay to witness such an inhumane display," Evans said. "Worse, this seems to have become, for many, a legitimate and normal form of entertainment."
Dogfight fans are privately contacted, the sheriff said, and brought to the undisclosed location for the fight. The event is run like a boxing match, with a prefight weigh-in.
A portion of the $27,000 in cash seized came from a $65 cover organizers charged spectators. The largest portion of the money is believed to have come from wagers put on the dogs by their owners and spectators. Deputies also seized three handguns as well as small amounts of marijuana and cocaine.
The suspects are expected to be arraigned today in 36th District Court in Detroit.

Story From:Detroit Free Press (KRT)
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