Four dogs rescued from alleged dog fighting ring

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY, FL (WFLX) - Three injured pit bulls and a puppy, suspected of being used in illegal dog fighting, have been rescued, according to the Indian River County Sheriff's Office. 

The dogs were found when an Indian River County Multi Agency Criminal Enforcement Unit served a search warrant on Thursday, May 16 at 4565 33 rd Avenue in Vero Beach.

The investigation began after deputies received several anonymous complaints from neighbors indicating people in the home could be selling drugs.

During a search, detectives say they found three adult pit bulls and one puppy at the home. The dogs were in poor health and had injuries which county animal control officials said were consistent with dog fighting, according to authorities.

The dogs were restrained with heavy chains and did not have access to food or water when found, according to investigators.

Deputies say they also found cocaine and marijuana. They also seized over $900 in cash.

Detectives said two aggressive dogs had to be tranquilized. 

All the dogs were taken to the local Humane Society where they were treated and evaluated.

Three men and a woman were arrested.

Alphonso Phinizee, 37 was charged with animal cruelty, unlawful confinement/abandonment of a dog and possession of marijuana under 20 grams. 

Charles Stokes,26 was charged with possession of cocaine with the intent to distribute, possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute and destruction of evidence.

Rone Jackson, 35 was charged with possession of marijuana over 20 grams.  

Jomeka Thomas, 27 was charged with possession of marijuana under 20 grams.

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