TEMPLE HILLS, Md. - Two separate FBI raids that took place early Thursday morning in Maryland were part of an investigation into a bank and wire fraud crime ring, authorities have confirmed.
The FBI confirmed the raids at a home in the 2400 block of St. Clair Drive in Temple Hills, Maryland and at a home in the 8600 block Devon Hills Drive in Fort Washington, Maryland were connected.
According to charging documents, the FBI alleges 12 people were involved in a crime ring that stole thousands of credit card numbers and sold them online. The FBI also accused the suspects of using the stolen numbers to make forged credit cards that would be used to buy cartons of cigarettes. The cigarettes would then be sold for cash, according to officials.
The charging documents named the following as the suspects in the case: Travon Jamaal Williams, Rodriguez Rodney Lomax Norman, Nathaneal Antino Williams, Ryan Joseph McNeil, Marvin Lee Mitchell, Gentle Grant Tyson III, Ebony Noel Coe, Denae Lee Horton, Ronnie Beale, Jamar Levell Johnson, Ashley Phillip Carrillo Howell, and Eugene Orlando Cuffee.
FBI agents and animal control personnel remained at the home in Temple Hills for several hours as they collected evidence.
A large van from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals was at the scene and several dogs were being removed from the home and loaded into kennels in the vehicle. FOX 5 counted at least three dogs being loaded into the kennels.
Investigators were also spotted removing large pieces of plywood boards, rugs and several boxes of evidence sealed with red tape from the home.
An animal cruelty expert told FOX 5 one device removed from the home may be what's referred to as a "catch pole," which is a tool used to put around the neck of a dog to protect a person from being bit. The home had several kennels and dog carriers in the backyard and one neighbor told FOX 5 he believed dog fighting was occurring at the home.
FBI agents were also seen searching the home in Fort Washington and the FBI confirmed a person was taken into custody at that location.
The FBI would not confirm if dog fighting was connected to their investigation into the crime ring.