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4th Man Charged In Dog Fighting Ring

Posted at 8:59 AM, Mar 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-25 09:59:33-04

A fourth man has been charged in connection with a dog fighting ring in Nashville.

Earlier this month, detectives with the Metro Nashville Police Department arrested three people and rescued 21 dogs from a home on Rowan Drive. 

PHOTOS: Police Arrest 3 In Dog Fighting Ring

Eleven adult dogs and 10 puppies, all of which had varying degrees of injuries, were taken to Metro Animal Care and Control.

Specialized Investigations Division detectives discovered the dogs while executing a heroin-related search warrant.  

They discovered a treadmill believed to have been used to condition the dogs, and syringes used to inject the dogs with chemicals.

"Detectives were surprised to see a number of animals with scars and open wounds," Don Aaron with Metro Police said at the time.  "It's heartbreaking when you see the wounds and scars these animals have had to endure." 

Police said John Gooch and James Burgess were both charged with conspiracy to distribute heroin.

Gooch was also charged with 10 counts of animal fighting and 6 counts of aggravated animal cruelty. Burgess was charged with 9 counts of animal fighting and 5 counts of aggravated animal cruelty. 

Gooch's girlfriend, Shawn Massey, was also charged with one count of animal fighting and one count of aggravated animal cruelty.

Friday, police said a fourth suspect, identified as Joshua Dyer, has also been arrested. His charges were unknown at this time.