UPDATE: 58 Dogs Seized In Rock Island Dog Fighting Investigation
Updated Friday, April 15 at 7:03 a.m.
An investigation into dog fighting by Quad City authorities has resulted in two arrests and the seizing of 58 dogs.
Rock Island Police Chief Jeffrey VenHuizen says 11 federal search warrants were executed Thursday in Rock Island and Davenport, Iowa as part of a yearlong investigation related to dog-fighting, narcotics and firearms.
Arrested were 41-year-old Ryan Hickman and 34-year-old Willie Jackson, both of Rock Island. Hickman is charged with possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance. Jackson is charged with unlawful possession of cannabis. It wasn't immediately known if the two have legal representation.
State's Attorney John McGehee said a myriad of animal abuse charges, felony and misdemeanor offenses are possible under Illinois law. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has possession of the dogs.
Police in the Quad Cities are investigating a dog fighting ring. Thursday morning at six o'clock, officers simultaneously searched ten properties in Rock Island and one in Davenport. They found more than 50 dogs, plus illegal drugs and a gun.
Rock Island Police Chief Jeff VenHuizen says the federal search warrants were issued as part of the investigation which began about a year ago. He says the investigation is not over, and anyone with information about dog fighting should call the police department or CrimeStoppers.
A dozen law enforcement agencies and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals participated in this morning's operation. ASPCA workers took the 58 dogs to a temporary shelter where they'll be taken care of until it's clear who will have custody.
The other agencies involved in the investigation include the FBI, the Quad City Metropolitan Enforcement Group, US Attorney’s Office, Drug Enforcement Administration, Illinois State Police, Rock Island County State’s Attorney and Sheriff's offices, Scott County Sheriff, plus the Moline, East Moline, and Davenport police departments.
Rock Island Police Department (309) 732-2677
Crime Stoppers (309) 762-9500.