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February 14, 2013

A Two Year Long Drug Investigation leads Law Enforcement to Large Dog Fighting Operation

After a two-year-long drug investigation The Pasquotank County Sheriff’s Office, Elizabeth City Police Department, The Federal Drug Enforcement Agencies (DEA), North Carolina Alcohol Law Enforcement (NCALE), North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation (NCSBI), Camden Sheriff’s Office arrested two people Desmond B. White B/M 35 and Maurice Baum B/M 37 on Federal drug charges and executed 4 Federal search warrants at four different locations in Elizabeth City on February 5, 2013.  These suspects are being held without bond on the Federal Drug charges.

During this operation Law Enforcement uncovered a large amount of evidence in dog fighting activity by these two suspects.  The Pasquotank County Sheriff’s Office initiated a massive crackdown on the dog fighting activity with the assistance of Elizabeth City Police Department, Camden and Perquimans Sheriff’s Office and the SPCA of Northeastern North Carolina.  The investigation in the dog fighting began on February 5, 2013 with the seizure of 45 dogs from three properties in Elizabeth City and one location in Camden along with paraphernalia items used in fighting, training dogs to fight and medical supplies to treat an enhance a dog in fighting.

Sheriff Cartwright contacted the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) to assist in the investigation. The Humane Society of the United States has provided critical assistance in this investigation.  Evidence collected during this investigation has led investigators to two other properties with suspected connections to the suspects. One in Perquimans County and another in the North part of Pasquotank County thirty-five more dogs and evidence were seized at these properties on February 12 and February 13.

“Aggressive investigation of allegations of animal fighting is essential to maintaining community safety and protecting dogs from such gruesome cruelty,” said Chris Schindler, manager of Animal Fighting Investigations for The HSUS. “We are grateful for the leadership of the Pasquotank County Sheriff’s Office and all the agencies involved for their dedication to this case.”

“Getting these two off the streets of Elizabeth City/Pasquotank County on the drug charges alone will help provide for a much safer community, but also removing these animals and putting a stop to such cruelty goes even further to maintaining a safer community and protecting the dogs and public,” said Sheriff Randy Cartwright. “This was a very large operation reaching across many state lines, effects several people and communities.”

This has and will have a severe impact on both monetary and man power in counties involved because of a total of eighty dogs taken in the investigation and many of which have scaring and injuries consistent with dog fighting.  We had to open an emergency shelter for the dogs causing our local SPCA to run two shelters which drives up cost and requires a lot of extra man power.  Our SPCA needs anyone’s help in donating time, money or anything else that can help with the care of the animals and the case.  The HSUS provided hands-on assistance on two of the raids and in financially supporting the housing and care of the dogs for the next 30 days, while the courts determine the custody of the dogs.  Animal fighting experts with the HSUS are also assisting the Sheriff’s Office with the ongoing investigation by identifying and reviewing evidence and providing expert testimony should it be needed at trial.

It is the HSUS’ policy that all dogs seized from animal fighting operations be treated as individuals.  All of the dogs rescued from this operation will be individually evaluated for potential placement with HSUS Dogfighting Rescue Coalition placement partners.

PetSmart Charities is providing the necessary food, supplies and enrichment items for the dogs.

Facts:

  • Dogfighting is a felony in all 50 states
  • The HSUS offers rewards of up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of any person involved in illegal animal fighting.
  • The HSUS asks anyone with information about animal fighting criminals to call 877-TIP-HSUS (877-847-4787). Tipsters’ identities are protected.
  • Rescue groups interested in becoming members of the HSUS’ Dogfighting Rescue Coalition should visit humanesociety.org/dogfighting.
  • This case will now be turned over to the District Attorney’s Office and go to the Grand Jury for appropriate charges.
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