A Florida man was arrested for an alleged murder, and police say the arrest is connected to a string of other crimes, including dogfighting and drug trafficking.
Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey said in a video posted on social media the investigation began in August 2020 when a dog was found badly injured under a carport.
Authorities believe the animal was a “bait dog” used in dogfighting to make the animals act more aggressively, the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office said.
The dog died from its injuries, and cops began to investigate the dogfighting ring.
Ivey said, “Due to the initial investigation, our team — through various investigative leads and techniques — identified a major drug trafficking organization that was operating in Central and South Florida.”
The drug trafficking ring was moving marijuana and cocaine around the state, authorities said.
While the investigation was going on, Matthew Nicol was found dead after a burglary of his home on March 3, police said.
According to authorities, the people responsible for the burglary and shooting showed up at Nicol’s home disguised as agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration and targeted narcotics and drug money.
“As the group entered the residence, they encountered Nicol’s pet, which was shot and killed by a member of the group," Ivey said. "Nicol was then confronted at which time he was also shot and killed.”
The group then left the area in a rented U-Haul van, cops said.
“Surviving residents and their associates then removed evidence of the drug activities from the scene prior to notifying law enforcement of the crime or even calling for medical help," Ivey said.
Thanks to the information deputies gathered from the drug trafficking investigation and the records from the U-Haul rental, deputies identified the suspects involved in the shooting, authorities said.
The first arrest was David Emerson Foreman-Taylor, 23, police said.
He was charged with murder while engaged in a felony offense, animal cruelty and armed burglary of a dwelling, according to authorities.
Foreman-Taylor is the only person that has been arrested so far, but Ivey said the investigation is ongoing and more arrests “will be taking place in the very near future.”