A search warrant was executed during the evening of Feb. 25 at the residence of Jimmy Jacobs, located at 3541 McLeod Road in Maxton, N.C. Twenty-five people were arrested on charges ranging from dog fighting and animal cruelty to being spectators at a dog fight. The spectators included North Carolina residents as well as individuals from as far away as Maryland and Ohio. In addition to dog fighting and animal neglect, weapons charges were made, along with possession of controlled substances. Tens of thousands of dollars in U.S. currency was seized, along with multiple handguns, various drugs and dog fighting paraphernalia. Special Agents with the N.C. Alcohol Law Enforcement Division confirmed that more than 25 people were apprehended and charged with felonies.
The operation was headed by Special Agents from the North Carolina Alcohol Law Enforcement Division, who were assisted by the North Carolina Highway Patrol, North Carolina Wildlife officers, the North Carolina Department of Corrections, the North Carolina Air National Guard and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Norred & Associates, an Atlanta-based private security company, and the Atlanta Humane Society provided additional support.
The arrests were made as the dog fight was in progress. Eighteen dogs were seized. Several dogs had serious wounds and scars from previous injuries. The dogs were treated on the scene by veterinarians from North Carolina and the Atlanta Humane Society.
Chuck Simmons, lead investigator for Norred & Associates, said he saw several people jump into a drainage ditch in an attempt to escape. “They probably didn’t know it contained water,” he said. “As cold as it was last night, they couldn’t have been happy campers when they emerged.”
Simmons said law enforcement officers were aided by helicopters with infrared detectors. “They were able to quickly apprehend suspects based on detection of their body heat.”
The North Carolina case initiated from a dog-fighting tip line that is operated by Norred & Associates as part of www.helpstopdogfighting.com, the company’s campaign to help stop dog fighting. To anonymously report suspected cases of animal cruelty, phone 1.877.215.2250. A reward of up to $5,000 is offered for information leading to the arrest or conviction of a dog fighter.