GIFFORD — Deputies found dogs in conditions they described as "inhumane and wrong" after serving an arrest warrant and narcotics search warrant on a home earlier this week.
Indian River County Sheriff's Office SWAT and narcotics units served the warrants and arrested Jerome Lamar Brown, 39, at his home in the 4200 block of 48th Street, on drug, weapon and animal cruelty charges.
Brown was first charged with possession of a firearm by a felon, drug and drug paraphernalia possession and resisting arrest without violence around 11 a.m., according to an Indian River County Sheriff's Office arrest affidavit.
Inside the home, in a small bag in the bathroom, law enforcement officers reported finding MDPV, a stimulant also known as "bath salts," according to the Drug Enforcement Agency.
They also reported finding a loaded .45-caliber handgun with a damaged serial number wrapped in a red bandanna next to a "letter claiming allegiance" to a gang along with forms of his identification.
While he was being taken to a patrol car, deputies stated Brown escaped his hand restraints and ran, leading to his resisting arrest charge.
A second arrest affidavit contained details behind the cruelty to animals charge and the five charges of unlawful confinement of animals added after he was in Indian River County Jail.
Deputy Ryan Eggers documented the condition of the dogs found behind Brown's home.
Eggers said some of the dogs were extremely malnourished and kept in "rotting, wooden and wire, makeshift cages" filled with excrement and with no food inside.
He said in one cage he saw a "half of a dead, rotting snake" and in others dirt and algae-filled water bowls.
One dog had a broken leg and what Eggers said were multiple severely infected, puncture wounds.
A veterinarian examined the dog and found it had heart worms, and judging by its wounds was likely in constant "excruciating pain," according to the arrest report.
Eggers questioned Brown about the dogs, who said they were his and his wife planned to get a new bag of dog food.
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In the meantime, Eggers stated that Brown told him he had to give the dogs scraps.
"Brown agreed the (conditions) in which the animals were kept was inhumane and wrong," Eggers wrote in the report.
Brown served prison sentences on convictions related to charges of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, robbery with a deadly weapon, armed burglary, cocaine sale and possession from Indian River County and Brevard counties dating back to 1999, according to Florida Department of Corrections records.
Brown is in the Indian River County Jail without bond.
A 38-year-old woman also was arrested at the home during the drug search Tuesday.
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Jessica Lee Cable, of the 6800 block of 48th Street, was charged with possession of a controlled substance and resisting arrest without violence.
Deputies said Cable was uncooperative and refused to provide a statement after exiting the home's garage where she was reportedly living at the time.
After searching the garage, deputies said they found 0.5 grams of MDPV.
Cable is in jail on $5,500 bail, according to jail records.
Corey Arwood is a breaking news reporter for TCPalm. Follow Corey on Twitter @coreyarwood, or reach him by phone at 772-978-2246.
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