ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. – A man and his parents pleaded guilty to dog fighting charges on Tuesday, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
Zhaqwaun Jevontae Gary, 22, pleaded guilty to possession of an animal for the purpose of participation in a fighting venture and adding and abetting.
On April 5, Gary’s father, Elton Gary, 47, pleaded guilty to exhibiting and sponsoring an animal for the purpose of participation in a fighting venture. He also pleaded guilty to attending an animal fighting venture, possession of an animal for the purpose of participation in a fighting venture, and possession of a firearm and ammunition by a felon.
Elton Gary also pleaded guilty to possession of marijuana plants with intent to distribute more than 50 plants and maintaining a drug-involved premises.
On April 21, Gary’s mother, Erica Gary, also pleaded guilty to possession of an animal for the purpose of participation in a fighting venture and possession of a firearm by a felon.
When deputies arrived at the mother’s home, no dog fighting was in progress, but blood samples were obtained from an area that appeared to have had recent dog fighting and multiple animals were seized.
In a shed, deputies located a steel bucket with bloody water, and what appeared to be a ring for dog fighting. A carpet with blood was found and there were splatters on the walls.
Dogs were in a wooden fenced in area, and there was blood at the bottom of the fence. Several pit bulls were also chained up within the fence.
A Halifax Animal Control officer was called out and gave his opinion that this was a dog fighting ring based on his review of the shed set up and appearance.
While looking for evidence of dog fighting, deputies located marijuana plants growing in a shed on the property.