An investigation by Sampson County Animal Control at a Clinton property late last week resulted in the discovery of eight malnourished dogs, along with firearms. The animals were seized and the man has now been charged with well over a dozen animal cruelty and weapons offenses.
He was served the charges in the early-morning hours Saturday following an investigation at his Nutmeg Lane residence, according to Sampson County Sheriff’s authorities.
Leon Taylor Jr., 46, of 101 Nutmeg Lane, Lot C, Clinton, has been charged with 15 counts of misdemeanor cruelty to animals, two counts of possession of firearm by felon and possession of weapon of mass destruction.
Taylor was taken into custody on warrants obtained by Sampson County Animal Control officers stemming from an investigation into animal cruelty. Animal Control officers observed a malnourished Pit bull tied up in the yard at the Nutmeg Lane residence on Friday. Further investigation by the officers found there were a total of eight malnourished canines on the property, according to reports from sheriff’s authorities.
Animal Control officers obtained a search warrant and the animals were seized and transported to the Sampson Animal Shelter. During a search of the property, two firearms were seized — one weapon seized was a sawed-off shotgun, which is considered a weapon of mass destruction, bringing that charge.
Sheriff’s officials noted that Taylor was a convicted felon.
There is just one blemish on Taylor’s North Carolina record, from almost 20 years ago, according to the N.C. Department of Public Safety. He was convicted in 1998 of possession of a Schedule II controlled substance and given a suspended sentence, court records show. His probationary status is inactive.
Taylor was placed under $32,000 bond, however it was unsecured.
He was served the charges at the Sampson County Law Enforcement Center and given a court date of Dec. 12.
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