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One wanted, one charged in dog fighting case

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FAIR BLUFF, NC (WWAY) -- One man is in jail and another is wanted in connection with dog fighting in Columbus County.

Fair Bluff Police say they have received multiple reports of dog fighting in the area of Hamer Street, but with no information about the people involved.

During a call about stolen property at a home near the intersection of Hamer Street and Park Drive, officers saw multiple dogs on an adjacent property. Upon further inspection, the dogs appeared to be mistreated, including several with life threatening injuries, chained to stakes driven in the ground.

Police contacted Columbus County Animal Control to take custody of six bulldogs. A search of the area turned up at least three dead and decomposing dogs across the street from the home.

Investigators have charged two men in the case, but one is still on the run. Xavier Hemingway is wanted on six counts of cruelty to animals, assault and battery, communicating threats, assault on a handicapped person, attempted larceny of a motor vehicle and two counts of possession of stolen goods. If you have any information where he is, call Fair Bluff Police at (910) 649-7323

James Earl Hemingway is charged with six counts of cruelty to animals, assault and battery, two counts of communicating threats, assault on a handicapped person, attempted larceny of a motor vehicle, two counts of possession of stolen goods.

Fair Bluff Police Chief Justin Hewett says police have had many run-ins with the Hemingway brothers. James Earl Hemingway is charged with shooting at Fair Bluff officers in December. Hewett said Xavier Lewis had been charged with some serious crimes in Loris, SC. Xavier Hemingway was one of three men police in Loris and Tabor City wanted in connection to a string of crimes that cross the state line back in August. He later turned himself in to face charges of attempted murder and burglary in South Carolina. Records show he was released from jail in late November.

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