Harrison County officials, in conjunction with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Game Warden, arrested a man Saturday after a suspected dogfighting incident was uncovered by deputies.

Jesus Stevens, 31, of Waskom is charged with dogfighting and animal cruelty. He was released from the Harrison County Jail Sunday on bonds totaling $15,000.

Officers responded to the 100 block of Strickland Springs in reference to possible dog fighting on Saturday. The county reported that when the deputies and Warden arrived at the location, they located a crowd of nearly 100 people.

A press release said that law enforcements initial thought was that the group was just an adult “pasture party” — but that that quickly changed once they discovered evidence of dogfighting.

Evidence included several malnourished dogs, dog weights, dozens of kennels with blood and more.

The county reported that the scene quickly became chaotic as the crowd began fleeing from the location. An HCSO Investigator responded and assisted patrol deputies in securing a search warrant for the property, vehicles and other pertinent items.

There was a dog rescued from the location that had injuries consistent with dog fighting, the sheriff’s office said. The rescued dog was extremely malnourished and was found packed in a small kennel. The dog was released to Marshall Police Animal Control, but it was euthanized due to the severity of its injuries.

The investigation is still ongoing, and multiple more arrests are probable, but at this point, Stephens was the only one arrested and charged, the sheriff’s office said.

“Dog Fighting is an organized criminal enterprise that a nationwide problem. The violence these K9s endured is horrific and will not be tolerated. Our Deputies and Game Warden did an outstanding job, and this is a prime example of the unknowns Law Enforcement encounter daily,” Sheriff B.J. Fletcher said in a press release.

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