Update: Suspected ringleader turns himself in to police
Frank Jacobs, the man believed to be behind several dog-fighting rings, including the one in Maxton that was raided on the weekend, surrendered himself to Scotland County authorities Wednesday night. Jacobs, 69, was initially arrested Saturday during the raid at the home of his half brother, Jimmy Jacobs, 40.
That night Frank Jacobs was charged with promoting dog fighting, possessing a dog with intent to use it for dog fighting and maliciously torturing a dog. He later posted his $30,000 dollar bail.
Authorities then raided Frank Jacobs' home in Laurinburg Saturday night and found 13 dogs, many showing injuries and scars from earlier fights. Officers also found equipment used to train dogs for fighting as well as documents showing past fights, controlled substances and moonshine. Authorities think Jacobs is involved in more than one large-scale dog-fighting operation, including some that extend into other states.
On Tuesday, state Alcohol Law Enforcement and the Scotland County Sheriff's Office charged Jacobs anew, with seven counts of promoting a dog fighting event, one count of possessing a dog with the intent to train it for a dog fight and misdemeanor possession of non-taxpaid alcoholic beverages.
Jacobs was jailed Wednesday night with bail set at $250,000.
An anonymous tip to a dogfighting hotline led to the arrest of 27 people in Maxton, North Carolina, over the weekend. Authorities raided a home during a dog fight in progress.
During the raid, more than 24 people tried to flee the area on foot, but authorities caught them with the assistance of a North Carolina Air National Guard helicopter, which used infrared detection to track the people attempting to escape.
During the raid, several people jumped into a drainage ditch while attempting to flee. Chuck Simmons of Norred & Associates, a private security firm out of Atlanta, that set up the dog fighting hotline said: "They probably didn't know it contained water. As cold as it was last night, they couldn't have been happy campers when they emerged."
The dog fight had spectators attending from North Carolina, South Carolina, Maryland and Ohio.
State and federal agents searched the home and seized tens of thousands of dollars in cash, multiple handguns, various controlled substances, veterinary drugs and dog-fighting paraphernalia.
Eighteen dogs were found in the house. Several of the dogs had serious wounds and scars from previous injuries and were treated by veterinarians on the scene from Atlanta's Humane Society. The animals are currently receiving care and will be evaluated for rehabilitation.
The apprehended individuals face charges of dog fighting, animal cruelty, animal neglect, being a spectator at a dog fight, as well as weapons and drug possession offenses.
Multiple agencies participated in the arrests including: North Carolina Alcohol Law Enforcement Division, the state Department of Public Safety, the State Highway Patrol, the state Wildlife Resources Commission; the FBI's Safe Streets Task Force, and Norred & Associates.
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 dogfighter.
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