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Trooper Investigated For Alleged Animal Abuse

The State Highway Patrol suspended a trooper during an investigation into complaints he abused his canine partner.

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RALEIGH, N.C. — The State Bureau of Investigation is looking into allegations that a trooper abused a police dog during a training exercise in early August.

Sgt. Charles L. Jones, 38, was placed on investigative leave and turned in his badge and uniform on Friday after internal affairs investigators received videotape of an incident of alleged animal abuse.

The videotape contains footage of Jones handling Ricoh, a Belgian Malinois, at a training exercise in early August. Another trooper recorded the incident with his cell phone camera and turned it over to internal affairs investigators.

Details about the exact nature of the alleged animal abuse are not being released.

After seeing the videotape, Brian Beatty, the state secretary of Crime Control and Public Safety, suspended Jones and called in the SBI.

The SBI is investigating to see if Jones broke any laws. Abusing a law enforcement animal is a felony offense.

Ricoh has been removed from Jones's care and is being housed in a kennel at the North Carolina State Highway Patrol Training Academy. Jones is banned from having any contact with Ricoh.

Ricoh had lived with Jones at his Wake County home for seven years and was the first dog that had been assigned to Jones.

Jones, a 12-year veteran of the Highway Patrol, is assigned to the Special Operations Division and also coordinates training for troopers and their K-9s.