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Drug busts uncovers possible dog abuse, fights
A MACE agent peels away layers of wrapping to expose almost 10 pounds of suspected marijuana confiscated Friday. - photo by By Patty Leon / Coastal Courier
According to Multi Agency Crack Enforcement Drug Task Force case Agent Robert Hughes, just under 10 pounds of marijuana, the skeletal remains of an estimated 13 dogs and five live dogs in poor health were among the items seized from a Midway home in a drug bust Friday.
Working on anonymous tips, MACE spent the last three-weeks in an ongoing investigation that led to the arrest of Rae Winnyoung, 25, a resident of 758 Isle of Wight Road.
Winnyoung was initially detained Friday morning, outside his residence, when agents saw him with a suspicious package and he declined to cooperate with officials about its content.
Hughes, assisted by Agent Kevin Grogan and several MACE agents, called Deputy Jeff Dawson of the Liberty County Sheriff's office to the scene along with his drug-sniffing dog Riot.
Despite having dummy packages next to Winnyoung's, Riot gave a positive alert on his box alone, Hughes said.
Hughes got a search warrant on the container.
Inside the box was another box that was sealed with tape and glued shut. That box revealed a tightly sealed, watermelon shaped bag with what is suspected to be the marijuana compressed.
Winnyoung was officially arrested that afternoon.
As he was being processed, MACE agents returned to his home to continue their investigation.
They knocked on Winnyoung's door to speak with his live in father, but no one responded and agents say the door was ajar with evidence of crime in plain sight.
Grogan obtained a new warrant to search the house and premises and they discovered a misdemeanor quantity of marijuana, cocaine residue, a digital scale, and a large industrial scale. Outside the house they made another discovery.
With the LCSO assisting they discovered the skeletal remains of approximately 13 dogs. They also found five live dogs that appeared to be malnourished. The dogs were chained with chains weighing 35 pounds or more.
In the backyard they also found two loaded shotguns in plain view in the backseat of a car.
Liberty County Animal Control was called to collect the dogs described as timid and scared. They were taken to a veterinarian for evaluation.
According to MACE the veterinarian said the dogs showed evidence of being involved in fights with scars along the necks and bodies. The vet determined that, although they were in bad shape and malnourished, none were in severe enough shape to be put down. The heaviest dog there only weighed 29 pounds.
According to MACE, Winnyoung was arrested in January 2006 for drug charges. He posted bond but was arrested again in July 2006 and once again posted bond.
Winnyoung currently faces charges of animal cruelty, felony possession of marijuana and possession of tools of the crime. More charges may be pending as they complete the investigation.
Bond was denied on the current charges Saturday morning and recommendations are being presented to revoke his two previous bonds.
MACE is working with the veterinarian, Animal Control and a rescue group to help save the captured dogs.
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