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Posted: February 18, 2011 12:00 a.m.

Dogfighting ring busted, three arrested

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Three men were arrested and several others are still being sought after an anonymous tip uncovered a suspected dog fighting ring last week.

According to Newton County Sheriff's Office Public Information Officer Lt. Tyrone Oliver, a tip was called in around 11:30 p.m. on Feb. 11, and deputies were told that dog fighting was going on at a home on Stoneview Circle. When deputies arrived at the home, several people ran away.

"Deputies arrived and a couple of people ran," said Oliver. "Deputies did find people hiding inside the residence and a dog fighting pit in the garage."

Several vehicles at the home had dog kennels in the back and several dogs were tied up in the backyard. However, no actual fighting was taking place when deputies arrived. The dogs were taken to Newton County Animal Control.

Homeowner Chico Hardeman, 41, was arrested and charged with dog fighting, cruelty to animals, gambling and obstruction of officers. Two other men, Marquis Phelps, 27, of Douglasville and 29-year-old Tony Hill of Atlanta were also arrested. Phelps and Hardeman are facing the same charges and Hill is being charged with dog fighting and obstruction.


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