Dog fighting suspect surrenders to police - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Dog fighting suspect surrenders to police

Irvian Singleton Jr. (Source: Morgan City Police Department) Irvian Singleton Jr. (Source: Morgan City Police Department)

MORGAN CITY, LA (WAFB) - Morgan City police officers went to the Dirty South Autoworks repair shop looking for Irvian Singleton Jr. Before they could make it there, Singleton was already on the run. Inside the shop, officers found 15 pit bulls and a dog-fighting operation.

Innocent faces are the victims of what police say is a big dog-fighting operation in Morgan City. Their scars and injuries speak for themselves.

"I haven't encountered any dog-fighting cases. I've been here 23 years. This is my first one," said Morgan City Police Captain Michael Morino. "It appeared to be so original, that many dogs and this much equipment."

Marino said last Tuesday, officers went to Singleton's home and executed a search warrant. They were looking for drugs. He wasn't home, so officers went to his car repair shop. Inside, there was no sign of Singleton but every sign of training and fighting pit bulls.

"We're asking for the public's help. We've put the photo out there, and if anyone sees him, they're asked to give us a call," said Marino.

Just as we are wrapping up our interview, our suspect showed up and turned himself in. Police said Singleton had been on the run for more than a week.

"He has a warrant for his arrest, and he's innocent of the charge and he wants his day in court," said Singleton's attorney Harry Daniels III.

Why did he wait a week to turn himself in?

"He had some things he needed to take care of," said Daniels.

Was he running a dog-fighting operation?

"No, he was not," said Daniels.

But pictures from inside the repair shop say otherwise -- a treadmill for dogs to build up muscle, an entire cabinet of medication, torn carpet and blood splatters.

"It appears that was a fighting ring for the animals," said Marino.

Dog-fighting is a felony in the state of Louisiana. Morgan City has an ordinance against even owning a pit bull.

The repair shop's licence has been pulled and business is shut down. Police say all the dogs will most likely be euthanized.

Singleton faces the following charges:

15 counts of cruelty to animals

Dog fighting

Training and possession of dogs for fighting

Dangerous and vicious dogs and keeping a disorderly place

Possession of cocaine and marijuana with intent to distribute

Possession of Lortab

Obstruction of Justice

Firearms in the presence of controlled dangerous substances (CDS)

Possession of drug paraphernalia

Possession of a CDS in a school zone

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