ROBESON COUNTY, NC (WMBF) - Six men from North and South Carolina are facing charges for their alleged involvement in a dog fighting ring after criminal indictments were handed down from a Grand Jury.
A press release from the office of Thomas G. Walker, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, states that 43-year-old James Matthew Blackman, 55-year-old Ricky Dial, and 40-year-old Jimmy Jacobs, all from the Maxton area, 69-year-old Frank Jacobs of Laurinburg, 35-year-old Tony Harris and 59-year-old Ozell McLain from South Carolina were each indicted on dog fighting allegations.
Those indictments show the members of this group used the following methods, while participating in the dog fighting ring they are believed to be a part of:
- trained and bred pit bulls for participation in dog fighting ventures
- traveled in interstate commerce to other locations to participate in dog fighting ventures
- sponsored and fought dogs that had traveled in interstate commerce in animal fighting ventures
- placed and accepted bets on individual dog fights; collected entrance fees to dog fights and secured locations of dog fighting ventures
- provided property in secluded locations and constructed pits to host dog fighting ventures
- offered prize money for winning participant in dog fighting venture
Each defendant is facing five charges, for which they could face a maximum of five years imprisonment and a $250 fine.
This case was investigated in cooperation by the North Carolina Alcohol Law Enforcement, Scotland County Sheriff's Office, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Raleigh – Durham Safe Streets Task Force.
That task force consists of the Raleigh Police Department, Durham Police Department, Durham County Sheriff's Office, Cary Police Department, North Carolina State Highway Patrol, Greenville Police Department, Garner Police Department and North Carolina Probation and Parole.
Attorney Walker stated, "Word must go out. Dog fighting, a particularly cruel crime, will not be tolerated. This prosecution stands for our commitment to pursue and prosecute those engaged in such heinous acts."
Alcohol Law Enforcement Director (ALE) John Ledford added, "Dog fighting is, without question, a violent and malicious criminal act. ALE will continue to partner with local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies to apprehend those individuals who commit such heinous crimes."