A citizen tip regarding drugs launched a complex investigation in and around Halifax County, Virginia. During the investigation, Jonathan Williams and Jermaine Thaxton sold a “fighting dog” to an undercover officer for $400. Before putting the dog in the undercover officer’s trunk, Williams and Thaxton showed off the dog by bringing another dog around and provoking a fight.
The investigation ended yesterday, with state and federal law enforcement officials successfully busting a dog fighting ring in Halifax County, Virginia. Four individuals — Williams and Thaxton, along with two others — have been charged in connection with the investigation. The four men face a variety of state and federal dog fighting, drug and gun charges.
With the help of ASPCA, the officers rescued a total of forty-one pit bulls and beagles from the property. The dogs are currently receiving veterinary care and will be temperament tested, with the aim of transferring the dogs to rescues for adoption. The ASPCA gathered DNA evidence for all of the dogs to include in the Canine CODIS (Combined DNA Index System) — the first national dog fighting DNA database.
For further information on this story, take a look at Roanoke’s WSLS 10 article and video, and this Gazette-Virginian story. You can also follow the story on ASPCA’s blog. Hats off to the officers and the ASPCA on this!