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Published: Saturday, 4/6/2013

2 Toledo men arrested in Miss.

Suspects linked to huge dogfight


HOLLY SPRINGS, Miss. — Two Toledo men are in custody in Mississippi, accused of being involved with a multistate dogfight, authorities said.

Lorenzo Keasean Buckingham, 26, of 1527 Upton St. and Orenthal Tyrone Watkins, 35, of 919 Ambia St. were apprehended March 30 on Stewart Road in Benton County, during a raid of the event held in a rural area, according to information from the Marshall County Sheriff’s Office. Benton County is near the Mississippi and Tennessee state lines.

Twenty dogs were moved to a temporary shelter, where they will receive veterinary care. Two of the dogs were injured.

A total of 52 people were arrested and 90 vehicles were seized. Some suspects fled into a nearby wooded area during the raid, evading officers, but leaving vehicles behind, authorities said. The investigation is ongoing.

The fight, said to be one of the largest dogfighting events in the nation, had been under investigation for months by the FBI and the Drug Enforcement Agency.

The suspects made initial appearances before Benton County Circuit Court judges Monday. Convictions could carry up to three years in prison and fines of between $1,000 and $5,000, authorities said. More than 200 people attended the fight.

The Benton County Sheriff’s Office, the Mississippi Bureau of Investigations, and the Humane Society of the United States were part of the investigation. The case is expected to go before a grand jury. Dogfighting is a felony under Mississippi law.

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