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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of North Carolina

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Five Sentenced In Dog Fighting Ring

NEW BERN - United States Attorney Thomas G. Walker announced that in federal court yesterday, Judge Louise W. Flanagan sentenced JAMES MATTHEW BLACKMAN, 43, to 3 years probation and 30 days intermittent confinement, RICKY DIAL, 55, to 8 months imprisonment followed by 2 years of supervised release, and JIMMY JACOBS, 40, to 29 months imprisonment followed by 3 years supervised release, all of these men are from Maxton, North Carolina.  Also sentenced were FRANK JACOBS, 69, of Laurinburg, North Carolina, to 29 months imprisonment followed by 3 years supervised release and TONY HARRIS, 35, of Lamar, South Carolina to 21 months imprisonment and 3 years of supervised release.All these men were sentenced for their roles in a dog fighting ring in Robeson County, North Carolina.

     United States 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.”

According to the Indictment, the members of the conspiracy used various manners and means to accomplish the conspiracy, including, but not limited to, the following:  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; and offered prize money for winning participant in dog fighting venture. 

Investigation of this case was conducted 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 consisting 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.  Assistant United States Attorney Denise Walker prosecuted the case.

Updated July 14, 2015