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Akron man arrested on dog-fighting fees after feds seized 15 pit bulls from two properties

AKRON, Ohio— An Akron man faces federal fees after brokers seized 15 canines from his house, the place they discovered bloody coaching gear and proof of a dog-fighting ring.

Ronald Smith, 39, is charged with canine combating, drug dealing and possessing weapons with a felony report in a 22-count indictment unsealed on Tuesday in federal court docket in Akron.

U.S. Marshals arrested Smith on Tuesday. He’s scheduled for arraignment Wednesday in entrance of U.S. District Choose John Adams. Courtroom data don’t listing an legal professional for Smith.

Federal brokers in April and Might searched Smith’s properties— one on Fultz Road and one on Herman Avenue— and located the canines and dogfighting gear, in accordance with the indictment.

Together with the 15 canines, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration brokers discovered motorized treadmills designed for canines, together with one which featured a stay, caged rabbit set in entrance of the treadmill. Investigators stated the rabbit acted as bait for the canines to chase throughout coaching.

Smith possessed performance-enhancing medication for the canines, and drugs to deal with the canines’ accidents, in accordance with court docket data. He additionally had quite a few “break sticks,” used to beat canines throughout coaching for fights. The sticks have been spattered with blood and had tooth marks on them, in accordance with court docket data.

Investigators additionally discovered a heavy steel canine chains within the properties. The dog-fighting ring was arrange at Smith’s house on Fultz Road, simply east of East Boulevard, in accordance with court docket data.

Diane Johnson-Owens, the president and CEO of the Humane Society of Better Akron, stated her group took within the first six canines seized. She stated the canines have been skinny, had open wounds and scars. All have been skinny and never nicely fed, they usually lived in “deplorable situations.”

“These canines all had good inclinations, however they positive had a tough life,” Johnson-Owens stated.

Johnson-Owens stated the U.S. Marshals later took custody of these canines, together with the others.

Smith can be accused of conspiring to distribute fentanyl, a fentanyl analog, and oxycodone. He is also accused of possessing three handguns.

He’s barred from possessing a weapon due to quite a few felony convictions, together with for housebreaking, aggravated assault, drug possession and heroin trafficking, court docket data say.

It’s the primary federal dog-fighting fees out of Akron since 2014, when police and FBI brokers busted a nationwide ring primarily based on Cordova Avenue and arrested 47 folks, together with a number of who ended up charged in federal court docket.

The ringleader, Alvin Banks, was sentenced to 4 years in jail— two in state jail and two in federal lockup— for organizing and internet hosting the fights at his house, which drew spectators from six states.

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