Friday, August 5, 2011

Man Charged With 23 Cruelty Counts After Dogs Seized

By Dave Jordan, WITN

Brian Tucker is facing 23 charges after authorities seized 31 dogs in a suspected dog fighting operation

A Jones County man is facing 23 charges after authorities seized 31 dogs in a suspected dog fighting operation.
Brian Tucker was arrested Thursday night after the raid on Highway 17 in Pollocksville.
Tucker has been charged with 11 counts of restraining dogs in a cruel manner and 12 counts of cruelty to animals. Deputies say more charges are pending against the man.
Lawmen found a large amount of suspected dog fighting paraphernalia and many of the dogs had scars and fresh wounds consistent with dog fighting.
The 11 rescued adult dogs and 20 puppies were transported to an undisclosed location.
Tucker was released after posting an $11,500 secured bond and has a August 12th court date.


Update August 5, 2011 - The following article is by Charlie Hall, ENC Today:

Arrests shut down two-county pit bull breeding operation

Two local men have been arrested in a pit bull breeding operation that included the rescue of 47 dogs that authorities said were intended for use in dog fighting.
The men were partners in a business called Hellboyz Kennels, according to arresting officers in Pamlico and Jones counties.
“I think it will put a hamper on the dog-fighting business in Eastern North Carolina for a while until somebody possibly steps into their shoes and starts breeding dogs,” said Pamlico County Deputy Chris Davis. “That will be a road we will have to cross then.”
Cody Ushry Jr., 62, of Alliance, faces one felony count each of cruelty to animals and dog fighting. He was arrested Friday afternoon and released on a $5,000 secured bond.
Brian Devon Tucker, 25, was charged with 23 counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty Thursday night by the Jones County Sheriff’s Department Animal Crimes Unit investigator Tom LaBuda. He was released after posting bond on an $11,500 bail.
This came hours after 30 abused and neglected pit bulls were found at his home near Pollocksville.
LaBuda and other Jones deputies went to Tucker’s house on U.S. 17 two miles north of Pollocksville after receiving a call from Pamlico deputy Davis.
“He (Ushry) told us he had a partner named Brian Tucker in Jones County and I contacted Jones County,” said Davis.
Pamlico had conducted a search of a Florence property early Thursday and 17 pit bulls were rescued from behind an empty house on Florence Road and turned over the Humane Society of the United States.
Ushry was brought in for questioning Thursday afternoon and again Friday before being charged. Davis said the suspect had no prior animal cruelty or dog fighting arrests, but that deputies had been aware of his breeding operations for several years. He said the investigation produced enough evidence to get a search warrant Thursday.
No dog fighting charges were made in the Jones County case, but LaBuda said that Tucker is still under investigation.
A total of 30 pit bulls — puppies to mature dogs — were voluntarily surrendered by the suspect. The dogs were taken for treatment and care by members of the Humane Society.
LaBuda said the charges stemmed from the animals’ living conditions and injuries.
“It includes everything from food, water and proper shelter to necessary veterinary care,” he said.
The cruelty charges included the use of illegal restraints.
“Dogs were being restrained with tow-truck-style chains, which are all indications of raising pit bulls to fight,” he said. “The chains and the weight and the large collars build the neck muscles, which they need for fighting.”
Many of the animals also had visible injuries.
“Several had open bite wounds,” he added.
LaBuda said Tucker had no prior arrests for animal cruelty.
Both men face first court appearances Aug. 12.

Update August 13, 2011 - The following article is from Greenwich Time:

NC man faces new felony dog-fighting charges

A Pollocksville man originally charged with almost two dozen counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty now also faces five felony dog-fighting charges.
The Daily News of Jacksonville reports ( that 25-year-old Brian Tucker now faces the felony charges in addition to the 23 misdemeanor charges. At a court hearing Friday in Jones County, Tucker was appointed an attorney, Bryon Smith of Onslow County. His next scheduled court date is Oct. 28.
Authorities in Pamlico and Jones counties say Tucker and 62-year-old Cody Ushry Jr. were partners in a kennel business. Ushry was charged with one felony count each of cruelty to animals and dog fighting.
Authorities say 30 pit bulls were taken from Tucker's home and 17 from Ushry.

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