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UPDATED: Deputies bust Halifax County 'major' dogfighting and drug distribution ring

The raid was in the Nathalie area of Halifax County.

April 20, 2011|David Seidel | Assignment Manager
Tim Saunders, NEWS7 Reporter

HALIFAX COUNTY, Va.UPDATED 2:00 p.m. — Sheriff's deputies busted an alleged dog fighting and drug distribution ring Wednesday morning in Halifax County.

Investigators say the raid was at a location on Dr. Lacy Trail in the Nathalie area.

Investigators say the dogs are being taken away for treatment.  Some are only a day old.  Deputies say they have found evidence of dead dogs on the property.

Three men have been arrested so far and more arrests are pending.  They have been identified as William Thaxton, Levar Adams and Jonathan Williams.

Thaxton and Williams were indicted last Thursday by a federal grand jury in Roanoke but the indictments were sealed until the bust today. 

Williams was charged with three counts of distributing crack cocaine, one count of being a felon illegally in possession of a firearm, one count of illegally transferring a firearm and one count of conspiring to sell or transport a dog or animal to be used in an animal fighting venture. Thaxton was charged in the same indictment with one count of conspiring to sell or transfer a dog or animal to be used in an animal fighting venture.

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The U.S. Attorney's office said today that Williams and Thaxton sold a pit bull fighting dog to a confidential informant for $400. In a news release this afternoon the U.S. Attorney's spokesman says Williams discussed the price with Thaxton before agreeing to the sale price. Thaxton presented the dog to another animal to provoke a fight before walking the dog to the informant’s car and placing the dog in the trunk.

The release goes on to say that approximately one month later, Williams allegedly met with an undercover ATF agent and discussed the dog fighting business and the purchase of fighting dogs. Williams allegedly told the officer that he goes to North Carolina to conduct all of his dog fighting. The drug and gun charges relate to Williams’ alleged distribution of crack cocaine and possession of a Tec9, 9 mm semi-automatic pistol and a .38 caliber revolver.

Thaxton was also indicted for distributing crack cocaine and gun charges.

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41 dogs have been found on the property so far.

According to Halifax County Sheriff Stanley Noblin they've been investigating the property for more than a year.

The ASPCA has a disaster response team on site right now identifying and processing the animals.

Check back later for more updates.

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Sheriff's deputies busted an alleged dog fighting and drug distribution ring Wednesday morning in Halifax County.

Investigators say the raid was at a location on Dr. Lacy Trail in the Nathalie area.

A News-7 crew is headed there now.  Check back here and watch News-7 tonight for more information.

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