CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Two men are in custody for running a dog fighting ring in east Charlotte.
Patrol offier sin the Hickory Division received information leading to the arrest Friday mroning. They were tipped that a hour in the 7800 block of Carelock Circle had several pit bulls in the backyard.
Officers responded to the house and located what sounded like numerous dogs barking from behind a large privacy fence in the backyard. Several pit bulls were found with large chains that were attached to spikes driven into the ground.
Officers contacted Animal Care and Control officers who responded immediately to the scene. Upon arrival, Animal Control officers located evidence consistent with training dogs for the purpose of fighting.
Hickory Grove officers and Animal Control personnel immediately secured the perimeter of the residence in order to conduct surveillance until the residents returned to the home and until they could obtain a search warrant. The CMPD Air Unit flew over the scene to gather additional evidence indicating a dog fighting operation.
While officers were obtaining a search warrant, Melvin Smith, 46, and Lefonze Williams, 42, returned to the residence. Both subjects were cooperative with officers.
After the search warrant was obtained, officers located a total of 27 animals on the property, several displaying injuries consistent with dog fighting. Both paraphernalia for dog fighting and a dog fighting arena were also discovered on the property.
Smith and Williams were arrested and interviewed by officers. Both face charges of Felony Training Animals with the Purpose of Dog Fighting and Baiting.
CMPD and Animal Care and Control say, based on the number of dogs and evidence seized at the scene, this location is one of the largest dog fighting operations they have investigated to date.