Six men sentenced for dog fighting and narcotics charges in Onslow County

The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina says six North Carolina men have been sentenced for engaging in illegal dog fighting and selling narcotics in the Onslow County area.

In October 2015, law enforcement infiltrated a group of individuals engaging in dog fighting in Onslow and Cumberland Counties. These individuals purchased, bred, sold, and trained American Pit Bull Terriers for the purpose of having the dogs participate in illegal dog fights for wagering, sport, and entertainment.

Between December 2015 and March 2016, law enforcement utilized a confidential informant to meet up with the individuals and attend four dog fights with them. On at least two of the occasions, the losing dog died after the conclusion of the fights. One of the fights was a “champion fight,” meaning that the participants fought dogs who were vying for a third win. As much as $100,000 was wagered on that fight alone.

The following individuals and their sentences are:

Leo Junior Chadwick, 64 of Hubert (60 Months imprisonment and 3 years supervised release & $25,000 fine) Aaron Richardson, a/k/a “Jit”, 42 of Jacksonville (96 months imprisonment and 3 years supervised release & $25,000 fine) Cedric Gerard Cook, 39 of Fayetteville (45 months imprisonment and 3 years supervised release, $5,000 fine) James David Martin, 39 of Maple Hill (4 years probation, including 6 months of home confinement) James Leslie Golden, III, 47 of Ayden (4 years probation and 100 hours of community service) William Jay Farrior, a/k/a “Bo”, 37 of Maple Hill (48 months imprisonment and 5 years supervised release)

The investigation revealed that Chadwick had been involved in raising and training dogs for the past 35 years. Evidence taken from Cook’s Facebook account showed that he had admitted to fighting dogs since he was 14 or 15 years old. Martin hosted one of the fights on his property, while Golden attended two of the fights.

Upon the arrests of the defendants in December 2016, search warrants were executed on four properties suspected of containing dogs and dog fighting paraphernalia. In that process, approximately 156 dogs were seized, including some that were pregnant at the time.

On Chadwick’s property in Hubert, investigators located and seized 33 pit bull type dogs. Many of the dogs were found outside in makeshift wooden boxes or plastic barrels, chained to the ground with heavy chains and collars. Other dogs were found inside Chadwick’s residence, in small wire crates. Some of the crates were riddled with filthy newspaper and covered in animal feces. Investigators also found substantial dog fighting paraphernalia on the property.

The dogs seized from Chadwick’s property were in terrible shape, exhibiting scars and healing wounds from fights. Nearly all of them were extremely low weight and suffering from easily preventable and treatable diseases. One dog that weighed 31.4 lbs. at the time of intake was found tethered to a chain weighing 34 lbs., meaning it was bearing upwards of 108% of its body weight around its neck.

On Cook’s property in Fayetteville, investigators seized 23 pit bull type dogs. Cook’s dogs were also found in very poor condition, exhibiting scars and healing wounds consistent with organized dog fighting.

On Richardson’s property in Jacksonville, investigators seized 32 pit bull type dogs. Many of the dogs were found outside in makeshift wooden boxes or plastic barrels, chained to the ground with heavy chains and collars. The dogs found on Richardson’s property also exhibited scarring and healing wounds consistent with organized dog fighting.