MCEWEN, Tenn. (WKRN) – An elaborate theft ring involving the men who run a K-9 search and rescue group has been busted by authorities in Humphreys County.
McEwen police said both men, Blair Trice and Christopher Williams, were arrested after turning themselves in Wednesday morning.
Police said the two men, who help run the Southeast K-9 Search and Rescue, are accused of taking big-ticket items from various Walmart stores.
They face felony theft charges and have active warrants in several different cities.
News 2 learned that Tuesday night, while executing a search warrant in McEwen, officers found the stolen items in several storage sheds and a truck at a home on Long Street.
“We executed a search warrant here in McEwen and located approximately $7,000 of stolen merchandise from Walmarts here in Tennessee, Kentucky, North Carolina, Arkansas and Missouri,” said Captain Michael Pate with the McEwen Police Department.
Investigators believe the two were advertising and reselling the goods for profit.
The Department of Children’s Services reportedly removed children from the home, and authorities are expecting the structure to be condemned.
Eight dogs belonging to the men were also taken by Animal Control Tuesday night.
“These dogs are supposed to be search and rescue dogs, and you’ll see in some of our photographs these dogs were living in deplorable conditions,” Capt. Pate said. “Their children were living in deplorable conditions.”
“It’s a very nasty, very tainted environment these people were living in,” he added.
The Southeast K-9 Search and Rescue team offered their efforts on high-profile cases such as the Holly Bobo and Danny Tomlinson cases.
Trice and Williams are due in court Jan. 20 at 9 a.m.