Ten Men Face Dog Fighting and Narcotics Charges
WILMINGTON, N.C. – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina announces that 10 North Carolina men were arrested yesterday and today in a coordinated law enforcement operation for allegedly engaging in illegal dog fighting and selling narcotics in the Onslow County area.
The following individuals were indicted in a 17-Count Indictment returned by a federal Grand Jury.
- Lewis Edmond Andrews, Jr., 41 of Maple Hill
- Ronnie Jeremy Thompson, 39 of Jacksonville
- William Jay Farrior, a/k/a “Bo”, 36 of Maple Hill
- Randall Jacob James, a/k/a “Slim”, 32 of Maple Hill
- Mark Anthony West, 52 of Jacksonville
- Leo Chadwick, 63 of Hubert
- Aaron Richardson, a/k/a “Jit”, 41 of Jacksonville
- Cedric Gerard Cook, 38 of Fayetteville
- James David Martin, 38 of Maple Hill
- James Leslie Golden, III, 46 of Ayden
Andrews, Thompson, West, Chadwick, Richardson, Cook, and Martin were charged with Conspiracy to Violate the Animal Welfare Act. The federal Animal Welfare Act makes it a felony punishable by up to five years in prison to fight dogs or to possess, train, sell, buy, deliver, receive or transport dogs intended for use in dog fighting.
According to the Indictment, as part of the conspiracy, the defendants and their co-conspirators purchased, received, bred, trained, conditioned, transported, and delivered dogs for the purpose of entering them in dog fights. The defendants and their co-conspirators placed bets on animal fighting ventures, sometimes wagering as much as $100,000 on a single fight. Golden was charged with a misdemeanor for attending two dog fights.
Andrews, Farrior, and James are charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine, cocaine base (or “crack”), and heroin. West was also charged with distributing cocaine base (or “crack”) within one thousand feet of Jacksonville Senior High School in Jacksonville, North Carolina.
Upon the arrests of the defendants, search warrants were executed on four properties suspected of containing dogs and dog fighting paraphernalia. In that process, approximately 155 dogs were seized.
The ASPCA® (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) has been requested by authorities to take custody of and provide daily care for the dogs seized during the arrests at a temporary shelter in an undisclosed location. The ASPCA is also providing assistance with evidence collection and conducting forensic examinations of the dogs seized in the case.
The case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Jacksonville Police Department, and Onslow County Sheriff’s Office. Additional assistance was provided by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), Wilmington Police Department, New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office, North Carolina State Highway Patrol, North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, the United States Department of Agriculture, and the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant United States Attorney Laura Howard is prosecuting the case for the government.
The charges and allegations contained in the Indictment are merely accusations. The defendants are considered innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.