EXETER, R.I. — Two people were arrested after an investigation into a dog-fighting and drug-dealing operation in South County.
Mason Wilson, 35, who has a history of gun and drug charges, and Tarra Jackson, 29, were arrested Thursday, after police searched their residence at 331 South County Trail and seized 112 grams of cocaine-fentanyl, nine guns, two large-capacity gun magazines, and seven dogs.
The Rhode Island State Police said that they worked with the South Kingstown police and the Rhode Island SPCA on an extensive investigation before obtaining a search warrant for the residence. Photos released by the police show dogs in separate small fenced pens outside, with plywood dog houses, next to a shed with folded metal chairs and other junk.
State Police Colonel Darnell Weaver said it was “great work” by the three agencies.
“We took illegal guns off the street and shut down a dangerous drug dealing operation that was distributing the lethal drug fentanyl that has been devastating many communities across the state,” said South Kingstown Police Chief Matthew C. Moynihan.
Rhode Island SPCA special agent Earl K. Newman III said in a statement that the dogs are receiving medical evaluations and treatment.
Wilson is charged with seven counts of unnecessary cruelty to an animal; possession with intent to deliver (cocaine, fentanyl, oxycodone, amphetamines, buprenorphine); possession of a firearm by a person prohibited; possession of a firearm while in possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute; large capacity feeding devices prohibited, and alteration of marks of identification on firearms.
He was arraigned at Fourth Division District Court and ordered held without bail. He is also barred from having the care, custody, or control of any animals.
Jackson is charged with possession of cocaine and fentanyl. She was arraigned at Fourth Division District Court, where bail was set at $3,000 with surety.