MAXTON — A man charged with dog fighting in Maxton during the weekend is facing additional charges in Scotland County after authorities searched his Laurinburg home and found evidence linking him to other dog-fighting operations, according to the N.C. Alcohol Law Enforcement.
Frank Jacobs, 69, of 8600 Ray Locklear Road, faces charges in Scotland County of promoting a dog-fighting event and possessing a dog with the intent to train it for a dog fight, according to a statement from the Alcohol Law Enforcement. He was charged in Robeson County with being a spectator at a dog-fighting event, possessing a dog with the intent to use it in a dog fight, promoting or providing a dog for a dog-fighting event and maliciously torturing a dog. He was placed in the Robeson County jail under $35,000 bond and was released on Monday after posting bond.
Jacobs was among 27 people arrested and charged during a raid on the home of his half-brother Jimmy Jacobs, at 3541 McLeod Drive in Maxton on Saturday. The raid resulted in the seizure of weapons, drugs and money, and the arrest of 27 people, all of whom face felony charges, including dog fighting, being a spectator at a dog fight and animal cruelty.
Jimmy Jacobs was charged with cruelty to animals, promoting, instigating and providing dogs for fights and possessing dogs with the intent to use them for dog fights. He was placed in the county jail under $35,000 bond and was released after posting bond.
Assistant Special Agent Jason Locklear, of the Alcohol Law Enforcement, said the agency had been investigating Frank Jacobs as the “ringleader” of the fight in Maxton.
Shortly after the arrests in Robeson County, the Scotland County Sheriff’s Office, assisted by the Alcohol Law Enforcement and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, searched Frank Jacobs’ home. They found evidence linking him to multiple large-scale dog-fighting operations that included North Carolina and several other states, according to the statement.
According to the statement, 13 dogs rescued from Frank Jacobs’ home were being trained and prepared for future fights, and many showed signs of injury and scarring from previous fights.
Agents seized two tread mills, one springer pole, evidence of past dog fights, a variety of controlled substances and several quarts of moonshine, according to the statement.
The 18 dogs that were seized from Jimmy Jacobs’ home will be rehabilitated by professionals and to see if they can be adopted, according to Katie Black, director of animal admissions for the Atlanta Humane Society. She said the dogs were taken to an undisclosed location in Atlanta where they’ll undergo health and behavioral evaluations.
“We do everything in our power to make sure these dogs are healthy and friendly before placing them up for adoption,” she said. “… We want to do what’s in the best interest of the animals and the community.”
According to Black, it can take one to six weeks for a dog to be fully rehabilitated, depending on a dog’s medical and behavioral needs. Aggression is the most significant behavioral problem in the dogs, she said.
“These dogs were trained to attack other animals,” she said.
Two of the dogs were fighting when authorities arrived, Black said. They had puncture wounds and scratches, and most of the dogs had scarring that indicated previous fights, she said.
The dogs included 16 pit bulls, an chow-shepherd and a malawa puppy, Black said.
The raid came after an investigation that lasted more than a year, according to the Alcohol Law Enforcement.
Katherine Floyd, a former animal cruelty investigator for Robeson County, was consulted by one of the investigating agencies.
“These people that are assessing these animals, that are taking care of these animals, are professionals,” she said. “They specialize in the rehabilitation of these animals and in the evaluation of these animals and their behavior.”
Black and Floyd each said the success of rehabilitation became evident after the rehabilitation of nearly 50 dogs that were seized from the home of NFL player Michael Vick, who was charged in 2007 with operating an interstate dog fighting ring.
Stephen Zawistowski, a psychologist and animal behavior specialist who worked with the Vick dogs, told National Public Radio in 2010 that several tests were used to evaluate the pit bulls, including whether or not the dog could be touched and handled, how it behaved around other dogs, and if it was safe around food, toys and children.
Of the 49 dogs that were seized from Vick’s home, 47 were placed into sanctuaries or homes. Two were euthanized — one for injuries and one for aggression.
“It was a successful operation, and I hope it sends a message to the people that use these animals in this manner, there are people watching,” Floyd said of the raid. “They will be caught eventually. … There could be an investigation going on right now and you don’t even know it.”
In addition to Frank and Jimmy Jacobs, the following people were charged during Saturday’s raid in Maxton:
— Tony Harris, 35, of Lamar, S.C., was charged with being a spectator at a dog fighting event, possessing a dog with the intent to use in a dog fight, promoting or providing a dog for a dog fighting event and possession of marijuana.
— Stanley Anthony, 54, of Cleveland, Ohio, was charged with being a spectator at a dog fighting event and promoting and gambling at a dog fighting event.
— Samuel Hunt Jr., 16, of 2841 Blue Springs Road in Red Springs, was charged with being a spectator at a dog fighting event and carrying a concealed weapon.
— Ricky Dial, 54, of Elrod Road in Maxton, was charged with promoting a dog-fighting event.
Also charged were Jamie Locklear, 41, of 364 J.R. Road in Maxton; Antonio Mitchell, 48, of 3541 McLeod Drive in Maxton; and Ozell McClain, 58, of Lamar, S.C., all for being a spectator at a dog fighting event and possession of marijuana.
The following people were charged with being a spectator at a dog-fighting event:
Robert Manuel, 33, of 381 Bertha Jones Road in Rowland; Charles Oxendine, 34, of104 Performance Lane in Pembroke; James Blackman, 43, of 350 J.R. Road in Maxton; Clliford Shirley, 24, of 2261 E. Home Ave. in Hartsville, S.C.; Jammie Oxendine, 27, of 1372 Alfords Farms Road in Maxton; Garry Strickland Sr., 57, of 724 North Chapin Road, Aberdeen; Don Carl McClain, 53, of Lamar, S.C.; Michael Georg, 57, of 3820 DOC Brown Road in Raeford; Samuel Hunt, 41, of 2841 Blue Springs Road in Red Springs; David Proctor, 40, of 8660 Bowie Road in Nanjemoy; Raymond Locklear, 30, of 252 Haire Road in Raeford; Ronelle Bowden, 34, of 158 Ceder Court in Raeford; James Campbell, 47, of 3258 Academy Road in McColl, S.C.; Decota Jacobs, 18, of 2831 Blue Springs Road in Red Springs; Gary Jacobs, 47, of 16201 McFarland Road in Laurinburg; Christopher Manuel, 34, of 7503 N.C. 72 West in Pembroke; Tyrone Gilmore, 38, of 530 Emu Road in Hartsville, S.C.; Ronteria Covington, 32, of 415 First Ave. in Bennettesville, S.C.