Injured pit bull leads to drug, weapons charges for Marietta felon

Credit: Cobb County Sheriff's Office

Credit: Cobb County Sheriff's Office

A police officer’s encounter with an injured dog over the weekend led to drug and weapons charges for a Marietta man, authorities said.

The officer responded to a call about a loose pit bull Saturday morning in a neighborhood behind North Marietta Parkway, Marietta police said.

After a quick search, Officer Dylan Conklin located the pup along Austin Avenue and noticed it had fresh wounds on its face, mouth and ears, Marietta police spokesman Officer Chuck McPhilamy said in a news release.

The dog, later identified as “Kilo,” was calm and friendly toward the officer, who was able to find his home based on information on the dog’s collar, police said.

Credit: Marietta Police Department

Credit: Marietta Police Department

When the officer arrived at the home to return the dog, he noticed several crates in the back yard that were visible from the road, as well as empty rifle boxes near the front door, police said.

Two men eventually came outside to speak with the officer about the dog, but Conklin determined their stories were inconsistent, according to the release. Additionally, neither man could explain the dog’s injuries or confirm who its actual owner was.

They told officers there were five more dogs in the home, but wouldn’t say whether anyone else was inside.

Concerned the other dogs may have also been injured, Conklin contacted animal control for help. Suspicious that the men inside the home may have been fighting the dogs and selling drugs, he also obtained a warrant to search the house, authorities said.

“Once the search warrant was obtained, Cobb County Animal Services officers assisted in removing five animals from inside the residence,” McPhilamy said. “Preliminary indications were that Kilo had been involved in dogfighting previously, but it was unknown how the fresh wounds occurred.”

Credit: Marietta Police Department

Credit: Marietta Police Department

The other animals, who were not injured, were taken until their owners could be located and the investigation was complete.

During their search of the home, police reportedly discovered methamphetamine, LSD, MDMA, the anti-anxiety drug alprazolam and three airsoft rifles. Police also seized two real guns, including a 9 mm rifle and an AR-15, authorities said.

Officers arrested 43-year-old Ronald McCarthy at the scene, charging him with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, possession of MDMA, possession of alprazolam and possession of LSD, records show.

“Officer Conklin’s compassion for an injured animal, as well as observation and communication skills, served Kilo and all of the residents in the area Saturday,” Marietta police Chief Dan Flynn said in a statement. “We had a suspect living among us with multiple drugs and weapons, not to mention an injured pit bull, hiding in plain sight.”

Records show McCarthy was released from a Louisiana prison earlier this year, though additional details about his previous conviction weren’t immediately available Tuesday afternoon.

He was released from the Cobb County Jail on Sunday after posting an $11,220 bond, online records show. The investigation into Kilo’s injuries were turned over to Cobb County Animal Services, police said.

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