RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Three members of a Roanoke Rapid family are headed for federal incarceration after various family members were convicted of dog fighting, drug and firearms charges, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina.
Elton Gary, 47, was sentenced to 72 months imprisonment followed by 10 years of supervised release for a slew of charges, the attorney’s office said. Those charges are:
- the exhibit and sponsor of an animal for the purpose and participation in a fighting venture
- aiding and abetting the exhibit and sponsor of an animal for the purpose and participation in a fighting venture
- attending an animal fighting venture, aiding and abetting attending an animal fighting venture
- possession of an animal for the purpose of participation in a fighting venture
- aiding and abetting possession of an animal for the purpose of participation in a fighting venture
- possession of a firearm and ammunition by a felon
- possession with intent to distribute more than 50 but less than 100 marijuana plants
- aiding and abetting possession with intent to distribute more than 50 but less than 100 marijuana plants
- maintaining drug involved premises and aiding and abetting maintaining drug involved premises
Gary’s wife, Erica Powell Gary, 44, was sentenced to four months of imprisonment followed by five years of supervised release for charges of felony dog fighting and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, the attorney’s office said.
The couple’s son, Zhaquaun Jevontae Gary, 22, was sentenced to six months of imprisonment followed by three years of supervised release on a charge of felony dog fighting, according to the attorney’s office.
U.S. District Judge Terrence W. Boyle handed down the sentences.
In April 2013, the Halifax County Sheriff’s Office was told that a dog fight was taking place at the Garys’ home. In a shed, deputies located a steel bucket with bloody water, and what appeared to be a ring or pit for dog fighting. Deputies also found a blood-stained carpet and blood-spattered walls, as well as pit bulls in a fenced area, officials said.
Deputies took blood samples and seized 17 dogs, each of which had wounds and scars consistent with dog fighting, the attorney’s office said. Eight of the dogs were later euthanized; nine were adopted out.
While searching the property for more evidence of dog fighting, deputies also found marijuana plants growing in a shed. In all, they found approximately 68 plants, a grow light, seeds, timers, heaters and more, the prosecutor’s office said.
The search also turned up two guns, one loaded, in the Garys’ bedroom closet, officials said.