Investigators Have Warrant to Search Vick's Virginia Property

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

A search warrant allowing authorities to look for as many as 30 dog carcasses was issued for property that is owned by Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick and is at the center of a dogfighting investigation, but the warrant has not been executed.

In a news release, Surry County (Va.) Sheriff Harold D. Brown said the warrant issued May 23 has not been executed at the request of Brown and Gerald G. Poindexter, the county's commonwealth's attorney. The release did not say why the two officials leading the investigation into possible dogfighting on the 15-acre property owned by Vick had made the request.

The warrant is based on investigator W.R. Brinkman being told by an informant that seven pit bulls were destroyed on the property in Surry County and buried in shallow graves two days before a drug raid on April 25. It cites "reliable sources" as saying that as many as 30 dogs are buried in various locations on the property, much of which is surrounded by a black fence and secluded behind a massive two-story brick home.

The document gives investigators permission to search for pit bull terrier/fighting dog carcasses on the ground and in buildings behind the black privacy fence at the rear of the home, which Vick has claimed he rarely visited. He put the home up for sale shortly after the dogfighting investigation began and sold it the first day, but it is unclear whether the sale has been completed.

The warrant also allows authorities to search "all outbuildings which have blood covered wood floors or walls" for anything that could be used in the killing of animals, including ropes, guns, rifles, spent shotgun shells, spent bullet cartridges, shovels and "any and all evidence contributing to dog fighting and animal cruelty."

Police raided the home as part of a drug investigation. They seized 66 dogs -- 55 of them pit bulls -- and a variety of equipment that could be associated with dogfighting.

While items such as treadmills and syringes seized could be typical of a legitimate breeding operation, which Vick is registered to have, items like a "pry bar" used to pry apart a dog's jaws and bloodstained carpeting raised suspicions. . . .

Denver Broncos wide receiver David Kircus's job no longer is in jeopardy over allegations he threw a punch that landed a man in the hospital with multiple facial fractures.

Coach Mike Shanahan, who had pledged to release Kircus if it was determined he was at fault in the fight, said that Kircus passed a lie detector test administered by an expert. Kircus will remain with the team regardless of the legal outcome of his case. . . .

The NFL Players Association is supporting Tennessee Titans cornerback Adam"Pacman" Jones's appeal for leniency to Commissioner Roger Goodell.

"Your suspension of Jones without pay for the entire 2007 season is clearly excessive and much greater than discipline imposed upon other players for the same or similar incidents," the NFLPA said in a letter to Goodell dated May 23.

ยท COLLEGE BASKETBALL: The NCAA will examine issues facing men's basketball players in an effort to improve their academic performance. A group that includes coaches, athletic directors, college presidents and others will investigate issues that may be hindering academic achievement.

Dan Guerrero, UCLA's athletic director, will be chairman of the group, which is expected to submit recommendations to the Division I Board of Directors by the end of 2008.

"Nothing will be off the table," NCAA President Myles Brand said.

-- From News Services

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