News and Press Releases

six charged in dog fighting ring

July 5, 2012

WILMINGTON - United States Attorney Thomas G. Walker announced today that a Federal Grand Jury returned a five-count Criminal Indictment charging six individuals who participated in dog fighting in Robeson County, North Carolina.  JAMES MATTHEW BLACKMAN, 43, RICKY DIAL, 55, and JIMMY JACOBS, 40, all of Maxton, North Carolina, FRANK JACOBS, 69, of Laurinburg, North Carolina, TONY HARRIS, 35 and OZELL MCLAIN, 59, both reside in South Carolina were each indicted on allegations relating to dog fighting.

     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.”

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.”

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.  For each of the five charges contained in the indictment, the defendants face a maximum of five years imprisonment and up to a $250,00 fine.

An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.

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 is prosecuting the case.




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